Berlin Christmas market attack terrorist eliminated in shootout in Italy
The Italian Interior Ministry confirmed Friday that a man killed in a shootout with police in Milan early in the day was, “without a shadow of doubt,” the main terrorist of the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that murdered 12 people on Monday.
The announcement was made by Minister Marco Minnit during an impromptu press conference shortly after the shootout was reported.
The shootout with the Muslim terrorist Anis Amri took place at 3am in Milan’s Sesto San Giovanni neighborhood during a routine police check, ANSA said.
He pulled a gun from his backpack after being asked to show his identity papers and was killed in the ensuing shootout, ANSA reported. A police officer was injured.
ANSA said various sources in Milan and Rome confirmed that the dead man was Amri, who German authorities believe drove the truck that plowed into the Christmas market Monday. Citing Milan anti-terrorism police, ANSA said authorities positively identified Amri from his physical appearance and fingerprints.
In addition to the 12 murdered, 56 were injured in Monday’s attack, which was claimed by ISIS terrorists.
German authorities issued a Europe-wide wanted notice for Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian, on Wednesday. They offered a reward of 100,000 euros ($105,000) for information leading to Amri’s arrest, but warned he could be “violent and armed.”
Authorities say Amri has used at least six different names and three nationalities in his travels around Europe.
He left Tunisia in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings and initially spent time in Italy.
He was repeatedly transferred among Sicilian prisons for bad conduct, with prison records saying he bullied inmates and tried to spark insurrections. He served 3-and-a-half years for setting a fire at a refugee center and making threats, among other things—but Italy apparently detected no signs that he was becoming radicalized.