Date
18 August 2017
Anis Amri is shown in a combo image released by the German police. He is said to be 1.78 meters tall, with black hair and brown eyes. Photo: Reuters
Anis Amri is shown in a combo image released by the German police. He is said to be 1.78 meters tall, with black hair and brown eyes. Photo: Reuters

Germany hunts Tunisian asylum-seeker over truck attack

German police are looking for an asylum-seeker from Tunisia after finding an identity document under the driver’s seat of a truck that plowed into a Berlin Christmas market and killed 12 people, Reuters reports, citing officials and security sources.

The federal prosecutor’s office is offering a reward of up to 100,000 euros (US$104,000) for information leading to the capture of the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Anis Amri.

The prosecutor’s office described Amri as 1.78 meters (5’8″) tall, with black hair and brown eyes.

German police commandos raided two apartments in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg late on Wednesday but did not find Amri, Die Welt newspaper reported, citing investigators.

Amri’s father and security sources told Tunisia’s Radio Mosaique that he had left Tunisia seven years ago as an illegal immigrant and had spent time in prison in Italy.

In Duesseldorf, Ralf Jaeger, interior minister of the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), said the Tunisian appeared to have arrived in Germany in July 2015 and his asylum application had been rejected.

He seemed to have used different names and had been identified by security agencies as being in contact with an Islamist network. He had mainly lived in Berlin since February, but was recently in NRW, Jaeger said.

After being turned down for asylum, the man should have been deported but could not be returned to Tunisia because his documents were missing, he said.

A judicial source told Reuters that German authorities had observed Amri over a period this year to try to determine whether he had planned a robbery to fund the purchase of automatic weapons for a possible attack with accomplices.

Authorities stopped their monitoring activities because they could not prove their suspicions, the source said.

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CG/RA

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