BERLIN — A deputy leader of the nationalist Alternative for Germany party apologized Thursday for falsely blaming a fatal van attack in Muenster on Islamic extremists.
Beatrix von Storch said on her Facebook page that “I made a mistake with my tweet about Muenster and I’m sorry.”
The apology comes after widespread criticism of her tweet suggesting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy was to blame after a man drove into a crowd Saturday.
When authorities revealed the van’s driver to be a German with no known extremist links, von Storch initially doubled down, tweeting that the suspect was an “imitator of Islamist terror.”
In her Facebook apology she took one more swipe at the chancellor, saying “I don’t ever want to be like Angela Merkel who doesn’t admit her mistakes.”
Two people were killed and dozens injured when a vehicle plowed into a busy cafe and restaurant terraces in Muenster before the driver killed himself.
At least 20 people were injured, six of them seriously, according to police.
German media said the assailant was a German in his late 40s and believed to be psychologically disturbed “with no known links to “terrorism.”
And state interior minister Herbert Reul said German authorities had found no evidence of an Islamist motive behind the incident.