Manhunt for Berlin suspect intensifies as anger grows
BERLINGerman authorities came under fire Dec. 22 after it emerged that the prime suspect in Berlin’s deadly truck attack, a rejected Tunisian asylum seeker, was known as a potentially dangerous jihadist, AFP reported.
Prosecutors have issued a Europe-wide wanted notice for 24-year-old Anis Amri, offering a 100,000-euro ($104,000) reward for information leading to his arrest and warning he “could be violent and armed.”
A temporary residence permit believed to belong to Amri, alleged to have links to the radical Islamist scene, was found in the cab of the 40-tonne lorry that rammed through a packed Christmas market in Berlin on Dec. 19, killing 11.
The twelfth victim, the hijacked truck’s Polish driver, was found shot in the cab.
The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung said that investigators had also found Amri’s fingerprints on the door of the truck.
In a sign of defiance, Berliners flocked to the Christmas market at the central Breitscheid square which reopened for the first time since the articulated truck cut a swathe of death and destruction through the festive crowd.
Organizers dimmed garish lights and turned down the party music but began serving mulled wine and opened the traditional market huts, as visitors left a sea of flowers and candles for the victims and signs reading “Love Not Hate.”
Amid an unobtrusive police presence, stony-faced vendors embraced each other, some weeping as they opened their stands.
The chairman of the Berlin association of market vendors, Michael Roden, admitted he had struggled with the decision to resume operations.
“We are still stunned and deeply shocked. Our thoughts are with the injured, the dead and their families,” he said.
“In a situation like this, it’s very difficult to know what the right thing to do is.”
The attack, Germany’s deadliest in recent years, has been claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Among the confirmed dead were six Germans and an Israeli woman, Dalia Elyakim, 60. A total of 48 people were injured.
Italy on Dec. 22 confirmed that one of its nationals, a young woman called Fabrizia Di Lorenzo, also died in the attack.