October 21, 2017

Christmas market reopens following lorry rampage

homeThe Berlin Christmas market where 12 people were killed on Monday by a suspected Islamist extremist who drove a truck into a crowd has reopened.
Police have installed concrete barriers to prevent a repeat attack.
Locations in Dortmund, Emmerich and Berlin were raided overnight in the hunt for Tunisian suspect Anis Amri.
Amri is the subject of a Europe-wide arrest warrant. His ID and fingerprints have been found in the lorry, officials say.
His brother, Abdelkader Amri, speaking near the family home in Tunisia, urged his brother to give himself up, saying: “If he did what he is suspected of having done, he will be sanctioned and it will be a dishonour for us.”
But he said he was sure his brother was innocent, saying he had left for Europe “for economic reasons… to work, to help the family. He didn’t go for [terrorist] reasons”.
The lights were dimmed and the mood was sombre as the Breitscheidplatz market reopened.
Candles and flowers were laid for those who died – they included at least six Germans, an Israeli tourist and an Italian woman – and for the 49 people who were injured.
The German authorities have offered a reward of up to €100,000 (£84,000; $104,000) for information leading to Amri’s arrest, and have warned he may be armed and dangerous.
Apartments believed to be linked to Amri were raided in Berlin and the western city of Dortmund. Around 80 officers searched a refugee centre in Emmerich in western Germany.
Prosecutors denied reports by Bild newspaper that four people who were in contact with Amri had been arrested in Dortmund.
There is growing criticism of Germany’s security services as details of emerge about Amri and his alleged links to Islamist extremists, the BBC’s Damian McGuinness reports from Berlin.
The 24-year-old, who arrived in Germany in 2015, is said to have been under surveillance by the Germany authorities from March to September this year on suspicion of planning a robbery to pay for automatic weapons for use in an attack.
But the surveillance was reportedly called off after it turned up nothing more than drug-dealing in a Berlin park and a bar brawl.
He is also said to have offered himself for a suicide attack, Spiegel magazine reported, quoting communications intercepted for the prosecution of hate preachers in Germany.
However, what he said was not believed to be explicit enough for him to be arrested, the magazine said.
Amri had been due to be deported from Germany in June but stayed because there was a delay in receiving paperwork from Tunisia.
His name came to the attention of German counter-terror services following the arrest last month of extremist preacher Ahmad Abdelazziz A, known as Abu Walaa, who has been charged with supporting so-called Islamic State (IS).
The Ruhrnachrichten news website said Amri had lived in Dortmund from time to time and residents at one block of flats said he had spent time with a German of Serbian origin, Boban S, who was arrested last month along with Abu Walaa.
Amri was on a US no-fly list, had researched explosives online and had communicated with IS at least once via the Telegram Messenger service, the New York Times reported.
It is thought Amri may have been injured in a struggle with the Polish driver of the lorry who was found murdered in the cab.
Investigators believe the lorry was hijacked on Monday afternoon when it was parked in an industrial zone in north-western Berlin pending delivery of its cargo.

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