Report: German police made ‘gross mistakes’ before Christmas attack

Masked police officers carry boxes out of an apartment house in Berlin, Germany, on February 28 while investigating Anis Amri, the Berlin Christmas Market attacker. On Thursday, a special investigation found that German police made several mistakes before Amri carried out the attack that killed 12 people. File Photo by Oliver Weiken/EPA

Oct. 13 (UPI) — An investigation into the Christmas market attack in Berlin last year concluded Germany police made “gross mistakes” before the deadly incident that killed 12 people.

Special investigator Bruno Jost said attacker Anis Amri, a Tunisian national, was detained several months before the attack and flagged for deportation. Officials also apparently had some evidence that Amri had radical Islamist ties, but not enough to deport him on that alone. Amri also was arrested on a drug charge, which could have been enough for deportation.

“There is no mathematical certainty that Amri could have been arrested and detained, but if everything had gone well, then there would have been a real chance of detaining him and at least to get him remanded in custody for a while,” Jost said, according to the BBC

Jost also said Amri should have been under surveillance for six months between March and October, but the surveillance period lasted a few weeks, reported the Financial Times.

“Amri was one of the suspects who was discussed at the Joint Terrorism Response Centre more often and more extensively than practically anybody else. And you can’t then act as if you have just arrested a petty thief.”

On Dec. 19, Amri shot a truck driver, stole his vehicle and rammed it into a crowded outdoor Christmas market, killing a total of 12 people and wounding 55 others. He managed to avoid police for four days, traveling through several countries before he was located and shot and killed in Milan, Italy on Dec. 23 after he opened fire on police.


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