In Brief

Berlin attack: Anis Amri shot dead in Milan

Tunisian suspect killed in shootout with Italian police

Italian police have reported that the Tunisian man, Anis Amri, believed to be the perpetrator of the Berlin terror attack on Monday, has been shot dead in Milan.

The man opened fire after being stopped by police during a routine identity check in the Sesto San Giovanni area in the early hours of this morning. Police fired back, killing the man. 

According to Italy's interior minister Marco Minetti, he was "without a shadow of a doubt" Anis Amri.

Spiegel Online reports that Amri shouted "Allahu Akbar" when police in the north of the city asked for him to show his ID.

"He then shot at the two policeman. They returned fire, hitting Amri fatally," Spiegel Online says.

According to the Italian news agency Ansa, Amri had travelled by train from France to Turin, and then taken another train to Milan.

At the German government's daily press conference in Berlin, "ministerial officials came under huge pressure to explain why Anis Amri was able to move freely in Germany and plan his attack under the nose of authorities," says The Guardian.

This was compounded by "the emergence of the footage showing that he was monitored entering an Islamic State-associated mosque in Berlin on 14 and 15 December and again leaving it seven hours after the attack," the paper adds.

The news that Amri was able to cross Europe by train despite a huge international investigation will deliver another blow to the EU's beleaguered security agencies, says Italian journalist Antonello Guerrara.

"We have to ask ourselves ‘can we not improve the [security] measures?’" said a German interior ministry official. 

Berlin attack: Manhunt continutes for Anis Amri

23 December

Fingerprints found inside the cabin of the lorry that killed 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market on Monday match those of the suspect Anis Amri, Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maiziere has confirmed.

Speaking at a press conference with Angela Merkel last night, de Maiziere said the fingerprints made it "highly probable" that the Tunisian suspect was the perpetrator of Monday's terrorist attack.

Germany's security services are under pressure to explain how Amri could have carried out the attack when he had been under surveillance for several months and was known to multiple intelligence agencies for his apparent ties to Islamic extremists.

Amri had also previously offered to act as a suicide bomber on known Islamist chat sites, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Thursday, citing security sources.

The Tunisian suspect talked about how he could obtain weapons, while German authorities listened in on the conversation, the paper said.

It appears a mix-up between regional authorities may have contributed to the failure. Armin Laschet, a deputy chairman of Merkel's Christian Democratic party, said he was shocked at the incompetence of security agencies.

"The attitude seems to be: he's off to Berlin, so the case is closed for us here, now it's Berlin's turn," he said.

It has also emerged that Germany asked Tunisia to issue a new passport for Amri so he could be deported, but the document only arrived on Wednesday – two days after the Christmas market attack.

Many are asking how Amri was able to leave the crime scene so easily on Monday, with some blaming the police.

The Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper criticised the authorities for wasting time by initially focusing on a Pakistani suspect after the assault, in what turned out to be a false lead.

Trump card

The incident has led to renewed calls for greater security across the globe, with US president-elect Donald Trump reiterating his desire for a register of Muslims in the US.

"You know my plans all along and I've been proven to be right," he said in response to a question about the register.

But The Atlantic reports that in one of his final acts as President, Barack Obama "just made it much harder for Trump to create a Muslim registry".

"The Department of Homeland Security will this week take apart the vestiges of a controversial programme that was used to register and track visitors from Muslim-majority countries," the website says. 

Berlin attack: Tunisian suspect had been monitored

22 December

An arrest warrant has been issued for a "failed Tunisian asylum-seeker" whose residence permit was found in the cabin of the lorry used in the Berlin attack on Monday.

The BBC says the suspect, 23-year-old Anis Amri, "was reportedly monitored on suspicion of planning a robbery in order to pay for guns but surveillance was lifted for lack of evidence".

Amri "somehow managed to give his watchers the slip just weeks before he is now believed to have driven a lorry into a crowded Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing 12 and injuring 49", the Daily Telegraph says.

His brother, Abdelkader, told AFP news agency in Tunisia he was surprised to see Amri named as the main suspect but he "deserves every condemnation" if he was responsible for the attack. 

He added: "I'm in shock and can't believe it's him who committed this crime."

Amri had served four years in prison in Italy for arson and was facing a jail sentence in absentia in Tunisia, according to the Suddeutche Zeitung newspaper. He is known to have used at least six different aliases and had "posed as a citizen of two other countries – Egypt and Lebanon" during his time in Europe, The Guardian reports

German authorities had rejected his appeal for asylum in June and he was due to be deported. However, his return was delayed by "diplomatic wrangling with Tunisia, which at first refused to accept he was one of its nationals", the Daily Telegraph says.

A €100,000 (£84,000) reward has been issued for information leading to his capture.

Berlin attack: Police hunt driver of truck that killed 12

21 December

Police in Berlin are continuing to search for the armed attacker suspected of driving a lorry into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring at least 50 more.

"Earlier hopes that the perpetrator had been caught after a heroic chase by a member of the public through a park were dashed when police said they had arrested the wrong man," The Guardian says. Authorities released the original suspect, identified only as Pakistani national named Naved B, because "he had no traces of blood or gunshot residue on his clothing and blood smeared clothes and blood found in the cab did not match his blood type", the paper adds.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack two hours after it was revealed the man had been released. It said: "A soldier of the Islamic State carried out the Berlin operation in response to appeals to target citizens of the crusader coalition countries."

However, BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera says the claim "does not prove much" without evidence to back it up. According to reports, the Polish driver of the truck may have been attacked as he slept in the passenger seat of his 40-tonne lorry. His cousin, Ariel Zurawski, who owns the truck company, has reportedly told police 37-year-old Lukasz Urban had been "fighting for his life" before he died of gunshot wounds.

The gun used to kill Urban "is still missing, and it is feared the perpetrator may be armed", the Daily Telegraph reports. German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said: "No one will rest until the perpetrator or perpetrators have been caught."

Stolen lorry kills 12 at Berlin Christmas market

20 December

A lorry has crashed through a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 48 in what German police are calling a "presumed terrorist attack".

A "suspicious person" was arrested close to the scene and is now being questioned. "The nationality of the suspect under arrest has yet to be confirmed," the BBC says, but the German DPA news agency reports he is a Pakistani or Afghan asylum-seeker who arrived in Germany in February.

Police believe the large, black Scania articulated lorry, which was carrying steel beams, had been stolen. It is registered to a Polish transport company, which said its driver had been due to take a break in Berlin but had not been in contact since early Monday afternoon.

"We don't know what happened to him," transport company owner Ariel Zurawski told AFP. "He's my cousin, I've known him since I was a kid. I can vouch for him."

A Polish citizen was found dead inside the cabin of the vehicle.

Witnesses reported seeing the lorry crushing market stalls on the Breitscheidplatz square, near central Berlin, in the early hours of Monday evening. Many people were trapped under the wreckage.

British tourist Emma Rushton, who was at the market, told Sky News it "was not an accident".

She added: "The truck was going 40mph. It was in the middle of a square... it showed no sign of slowing down."

President Joachim Gauck said it was an "awful evening for Berlin and for our country".

US president-elect Donald Trump blamed "Islamist terrorists" for the incident. "These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners," he said.


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