Thursday, January 5, 2017

Berlin attacker used up to 14 different identities while in Germany

The Tunisian man who recently rammed a truck into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market may have used up to 14 different identities while he was in Germany, authorities said on Thursday.

According to Dieter Schürmann, head of the Criminal Investigation Bureau of North Rhine-Westphalia, 24-year-old Anis Amri had been placed under surveillance and was tracked for several months before perpetrating the attack on Dec. 19 that left 12 dead and 56 injured.

Schürmann testified before the Interior Committee of the regional parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Amri officially resided, along with the regional Minister of the Interior, Ralf Jäger.

The hearing revealed that Amri used several aliases and faked different nationalities in order to obtain social benefits in various German cities.

Amri was included in the list of potentially dangerous individuals in Feb. 2016, Schürmann said.

In addition, his phone had been tapped between Dec. 2015 and May 2016.

However, neither the regional authorities nor the federal intelligence apparatus were able to muster sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Amri, Schürmann told the committee.

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