Tunisian asylum seeker wanted for Berlin massacre was jailed for 4 years in Italy for burning down a school
The Muslim terrorist behind Monday’s Berlin truck attack which murdered 12 people spent four years in an Italian jail for burning down a school.
Anis Amri, 23, from Tataouine, Tunisia left his home seven years ago according to his father and travelled to Europe as an illegal immigrant.
Amri, who has a €100,000 reward on his head, spent four years in an Italian jail and according to his father moved to Germany last year.
Since his arrival in Germany, Amri was arrested at least three times and was due to be deported.
Despite being an ISIS sympathizer known to have received weapons training, German authorities allowed Anis Amri to slip through their clutches time after time.
It is understood, Amri has used at least six different names under three different nationalities.
The 23-year-old even tried to recruit an accomplice for a terror plot – and again the authorities knew about it – but still he remained at large, it has emerged.
Police today revealed they have launched a Europe-wide hunt for the refugee, who came to Germany last year. His paperwork was found in the footwell of the truck used to murder 12 people on Monday night.
He is probably armed, ‘highly dangerous’ and a member of a ‘large’ Islamic organisation, German authorities said as it was revealed he has at times used six different aliases and three different nationalities.
This afternoon it emerged that he had already been under investigation for planning a ‘serious act of violence against the state’ and counter-terrorism officials last exchanged information about him in November.
He arrived in Germany in July 2015 and was given a hearing by immigration authorities in April this year. He was denied the right to asylum and was due to be deported before the end of the year.
But under a peculiarity of the German asylum system he was granted a ‘Duldung’ or toleration papers allowing him to stay for unknown reasons.
According to BILD newspaper the German authorities were in touch with their Tunisian counterparts to get him a passport so he could be kicked out. But Tunis said it had no record of him being a citizen.
Tunisia has now been accused of delaying his extradition as it emerged that new ID papers had only just arrived in Germany today – two days after the carnage.
Amri was put on a danger list shortly after arriving – a move which meant authorities considered him prone to extreme violence. Yet just how much surveillance he was under remains unclear.
In July this year he got into a knife fight over drugs and was charged with GBH. But he went underground before getting to court.
Yet he surfaced again in August in Ludwigsburg when he was arrested for possessing a fake Italian document. Again, why he was allowed to slip through the fingers of the security services, given his known affiliation to hate preachers, is unclear.
Before his vanishing act he had contact with Salafist preachers who promoted Jihad among German young men who converted to Islam.
It was recorded by German officials that he had entered Italy in 2012 and Germany last year. He lived for a time in Emmerich am Rhein and was travelling from there on a bus to Berlin in July when he was arrested for an unknown offence. Again, he went free.
According to German news reports he lived with a time with hate preacher Boban S. In Dortmund, under arrest for involvement with ISIS.
An anti-terror investigator told BILD newspaper: ‘To our knowledge he was ready in the early part of this year to find an accomplice for an attack and was interested in acquiring a weapon.’
A State Criminal Office informant in North Rhine-Westphalia reported this but again, Amri was not seized.
He is known to have attended hate sermons by Abu Walaa in Hildesheimn, a recruiter for ISIS who now sits in jail on remand after being arrested last month for radicalising young men for the terror group.
Apparently Walaa wanted to send him to Syria. But he did not want to, preferring instead to formulate plans for an attack in Germany.
Another investigator said: ‘Supposedly the evidence was not strong enough to arrest him.’
Britain is also said to be checking to see if there is any record of him in any of his identities.
This afternoon, police raided a migrant shelter in the town of Emmerich, western Germany, where he is believed to have lived.
Amri, who was born in the desert town of Tataouine in 1992 – a well-known ISIS stronghold close to the Libyan border – is believed to have entered Europe through Italy with Syrian refugees.
He is believed to have had a criminal record in Tunisia, having carried out violent car robberies. Tunisian police are now said to be speaking to his family.
A Facebook profile in his name shows ‘likes’ linked to Tunisian terror group Ansar al-Sharia, a Tunisian group with followers linked to extremists who murdered 22 at Tunis’ Bardo Museum in March 2015 and then 39 tourists at a beach resort in Sousse.
He was in contact with Islamist terrorists in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and was known to German security agencies, the state’s Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger said.
Despite an unfolding international manhunt the first pictures of him released in Germany have his eyes deliberately covered, thought to be because of strict privacy laws there. MailOnline has uncovered unblurred images.
Police are believed to have found blood in the truck’s cab and now assume that the suspect may be badly injured.
Squads of officers have been to every hospital in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg. They also arrested another unnamed suspect in connection with the terror attack but have since ruled him out.
Amri was living in Berlin but a police operation is now underway in North Rhine-Westphalia – the industrial region of Germany containing Cologne, Dortmund and Bonn. His ID was issued on the town of Kleve close to the border with the Netherlands and Belgium.
This afternoon, a wanted notice revealed the Berlin attack suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
The notice, a European arrest warrant from Germany, indicates he has at times used six different aliases and three different nationalities.
It names Anis Amri as having Tunisian citizenship, born in the town of Ghaza. But it lists multiple aliases, many of them variants on his name, and Egyptian and Lebanese citizenship as well.