Leftist German federal state minister had delisted Berlin terrorist as a threat
German state authorities knew more about the terror threat posed by Tunisian ISIS operative Anis Amri than previously claimed, according to reports.
Published: April 3, 2017, 11:13 am
The local German State Criminal Police Office (Landeskriminalamt, or LKA) had considered the migrant an increasing threat to public safety, but he was nevertheless delisted as a threat.
The Berlin broadcaster RBB has seen documents suggesting the local LKA considered the bogus asylum seeker an increasing threat to public safety only shortly before being forced to end all surveillance on their target by the leftist interior minister.
At the time, the LKA encouraged the deportation of the 24-year-old Islamist threat from Tunisia and recommended that paragraph 58a of the Residence Act be used. The investigators also noted concrete findings to add weight to their recommendation.
But the responsible department head in the ministry rejected this suggestion. It could have been the golden opportunity to arrest and deport Amri before he could commit the terror attack on December 19, 2016, with twelve deaths and 50 injuries.
Ralf Jäger, the Minister of the Interior, defended his decision in the parliament or Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The LKA note did not provide any “new findings”, Jäger said late Wednesday afternoon, last week.
Only days ago, the German weekly Bild Am Sonntag reported that NRW interior minister Jäger was informed that “Amri poses a threat in the sense of a terrorist attack” by the authorities, but personally intervened to prevent his deportation.
SPD politician Jäger has also been accused of being instrumental in the attempt to cover up mass sexual assaults by migrants in Cologne on New Year’s Eve in 2015.
Hans-Christian Ströbele, a Green Party politician, said he was “now convinced the attack could have been prevented. We need a full parliamentary inquiry into the Amri case” following the report.
Several other local politicians have also demanded a full federal investigation into the matter regarding the oversight.
In December last year, Amri killed a Polish haulier to steal his truck, which he later drove into a busy Christmas market in Berlin killing shoppers.
The Tunisian had continued to use multiple identities to game the German asylum system, even though his initial asylum application had been rejected by authorities and he was facing a deportation order.
Amri had been linked to several crimes as well as radical Islam, but the federal state authorities had stopped their surveillance of the migrant in September 2016, claiming he had posed no threat.
But in August 2016 a police report clearly described Amri as posing a “growing violent threat”. Despite the observation, authorities at this point had already reduced observation to only monitoring the Tunisian’s mobile phone.
Berlin state interior minister Andreas Geisel said the RBB report raised questions about the version of events police had presented.
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