Ber­lin at­tack sus­pect killed

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

MI­LAN: Ital­ian po­lice yesterday shot dead the prime sus­pect in the Ber­lin Christ­mas mar­ket at­tack, end­ing a fran­tic four-day hunt for Europe’s most-wanted man. Tu­nisian Anis Amri, 24, is be­lieved to have hi­jacked a truck and used it to mow down hol­i­day rev­el­ers at the mar­ket on Mon­day, killing 12 and wound­ing dozens more. The Is­lamic State ji­hadist group has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity and re­leased a video yesterday in which Amri is shown pledg­ing al­le­giance to IS chief Abu Bakr Al-Bagh­dadi.

He had been miss­ing since es­cap­ing af­ter the at­tack Mon­day, but his time on the run was cut short thanks to a com­bi­na­tion of luck and the quick re­flexes of rookie po­lice of­fi­cer Luca Scata. The 29-year-old, still of­fi­cially a trainee, shot the Tu­nisian twice af­ter he had fired on his pa­trol partner, Chris­tian Movio, 36. The of­fi­cers had stopped Amri in the early hours of yesterday near Mi­lan’s Sesto San Gio­vanni train sta­tion. They had no idea of who they were deal­ing with.

“He was com­pletely calm, they asked him to empty his back­pack and with a sud­den move­ment he pulled out the pis­tol, which was loaded and ready to use,” said Roberto Guida, the neigh­bor­hood po­lice head. Po­lice said Amri had ini­tially tried to pass him­self off as being from south­ern Italy and had shouted “b ***** d po­lice” in Ital­ian be­fore open­ing fire. Movio, the of­fi­cer shot by Amri, un­der­went suc­cess­ful surgery to re­pair the dam­age to his shoul­der later yesterday and was able to joke with vis­i­tors to his hos­pi­tal bed. “I’m happy to have been use­ful,” he told one.

Ger­man au­thor­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Amri was part of a “net­work” with ac­com­plices still at large. Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel wel­comed the news, say­ing: “We can be re­lieved at the end of this week that the acute dan­ger is over. How­ever the dan­ger of ter­ror­ism in gen­eral en­dures, as it has for sev­eral years. We all know that.” Amri’s death came as Ger­man po­lice ar­rested two broth­ers on sus­pi­cion of plan­ning to at­tack a shop­ping mall, while au­thor­i­ties in both Aus­tralia and In­done­sia re­ported that Christ­mas ter­ror plots had been foiled.

Mi­lan po­lice chief Antonio De Iesu said Amri had ar­rived in Italy from Ger­many via France. He had no tele­phone on him and only a few hun­dred euros. Ger­man po­lice said they found his fin­ger­prints in the truck, next to the body of its reg­is­tered Pol­ish driver, who was killed with a gun­shot to the head. A €100,000 ($104,000) re­ward had been of­fered for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to Amri’s ar­rest.

Prom­i­nent politi­cians in Ger­many and Italy warned that lessons had to be learned from mis­takes that might have con­trib­uted to Amri being able to carry out his at­tack. —AFP (See Page 10)

Ital­ian po­lice and foren­sics ex­perts stand by the body of sus­pected Ber­lin truck at­tacker Anis Amri af­ter he was shot dead in Mi­lan early yesterday. (In­set) An im­age grab taken from an Is­lamic State pro­pa­ganda video shows Amri pledg­ing al­le­giance to IS on the Kieler Bruecke, a Ber­lin bridge. —AFP

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