Security miscommunication helped Berlin attack suspect evade police scrutiny

Security miscommunication helped Berlin attack suspect evade police scrutiny
A breakdown in communication between security agencies in two separate German states helped Anis Amri evade detection since November, 'leading to the atrocity' at the Berlin market on Monday.
2 min read
22 December, 2016
The market-place reopened this morning with concrete blocks placed at the entrance [Getty]
Germany’s security services are facing scrutiny as it has been revealed that the Tunisian man wanted in connection with the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin had been on a terrorist watch list.

Anis Amri, 24, is considered the prime suspect because his ID card was found in the lorry which crashed into the Breitscheidplatz market and killed 12 people.

“This is a suspect, not necessarily the perpetrator,” said Thomas de Maizière, the interior minister.

“We are still investigating in all directions.”

A spokesperson for the security forces said that Amri had gone missing around November, due to a communication breakdown between security forces in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, the state Amri had registered as a refugee.

The state prosecutor for North Rhine-Westphalia said Amri had been under surveillance between March and September, after they received intelligence on a potential burglary.

Large concrete barriers were placed at the entrance to the Christmas market on Wednesday night, ahead of its reopening today at 11am.

The head of the market association said it was reopening to help life in the city return to normal.

"In a situation like this it's very difficult to know what the right thing to do is," said Michael Roden.

In addition to those who died, 48 people were injured when the truck drove through the crowded market on Monday.

In an interview with the media, Amri’s brother said that he had not received any contact from his sibling in two weeks.

In a separate interview with Tunisia’s Mozaic FM, Amri’s father said he had not received any contact from his son in months.

Police knocked down a door and arrested four of Amri’s close associates in West Germany at 6.30am (5:30am GMT) on Thursday.

Translation: Officials of #SEK hit the door of an apartment at 6:30. After the arrests, detectives searched the rooms. #breidscheidplatz