Ber­lin mar­ket at­tack probed

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS - — Post­media Net­work — The As­so­ci­ated Press

BER­LIN — The Tu­nisian man who car­ried out last year’s deadly truck ram­page at a Christ­mas mar­ket in Ber­lin could have been de­tained and pos­si­bly de­ported months be­fore the at­tack, a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tor said Thurs­day.

Anis Amri, a failed asy­lum-seeker, killed 12 peo­ple when he hi­jacked a truck and drove it into a crowded Christ­mas mar­ket in the Ger­man cap­i­tal on Dec. 19, 2016, in an at­tack that was later claimed by Is­lamic State.

Bruno Jost, ap­pointed by the state of Ber­lin to in­ves­ti­gate how au­thor­i­ties han­dled the case, said se­cu­rity agen­cies had a good op­por­tu­nity to ques­tion Amri in de­tail af­ter he was de­tained in south­west Ger­many on July 30, 2016, as he tried to travel to Switzer­land with forged Ital­ian pa­pers.

“Pretty much ev­ery mis­take that could have been made was made,” Jost said in Ber­lin as he pre­sented his fi­nal re­port.

The for­mer fed­eral ter­ror­ism pros­e­cu­tor said Amri was ques­tioned only by state po­lice in Baden-Wuert­tem­berg who weren’t fa­mil­iar with the 23-year-old and failed to delve into his ties to Is­lamic ex­trem­ists or his drug deal­ing.

“Dur­ing his two­day de­ten­tion in Friedrichshafen, none of the se­cu­rity agen­cies who had been ob­serv­ing Amri for months sent of­fi­cers to BadenWurt­tem­berg to ques­tion him about phone calls he made to his mother that proved he was a Tu­nisian cit­i­zen — a fact Amri had long de­nied in or­der to avoid de­por­ta­tion.”

Jost also crit­i­cized the de­ci­sion by Ber­lin au­thor­i­ties to stop eaves­drop­ping on Amri’s cell­phone in June 2016.

Amri fled to Italy af­ter the mar­ket at­tack and died in a shootout with po­lice on Dec. 23, 2016. The trailer of a truck stands be­side de­stroyed Christ­mas mar­ket huts in Ber­lin the day af­ter the Dec. 19, 2016, at­tack.

AMRI Truck ram­page

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