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Berlin Attack Suspect Connected to Terror Groups

Berlin Attack Suspect Connected to Terror GroupsBerlin Attack Suspect Connected to Terror Groups

Christmas market attack suspect Anis Amri visited 15 mosques in Germany and had contact with two men with ties to the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, according to a media report.

Security authorities also reportedly labeled him a threat back in May.

Tunisian-born Amri traveled to 15 mosques-12 of which were located in the western Ruhr region, according to a report from German public broadcaster WDR.

Amri used one of eight aliases to apply for asylum in the western German city of Oberhausen, the report said citing a multi-page profile on the Berlin attack suspect put together by security authorities, Deutsche Welle reported.

Starting in February 2016, Amri was located mostly in Berlin although he should not have been allowed to leave the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where he registered for asylum.

The state criminal investigation office in Dusseldorf classified him as a threat on May 10.

The profile stated that Amri behaved in an especially conspiratorial manner when he was in Berlin and had frequent contact with people who security services said had ties to the Salafist scene.

Two of the men Amri came in contact with were under suspicion of planning a terrorist attack.

Back in North Rhine-Westphalia, Amri also had two contacts in Dortmund who had ties with the IS, the report said.

On October 13, surveillance information gathered by state-level security authorities was supposed to be passed on to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, WDR reported.

Domestic intelligence work in Germany is generally conducted by authorities in the country’s 16 states.

Revelations that Amri had been on a federal list of persons regarded as potential threats and had been monitored by authorities for months has prompted sharp criticism over security failures in Germany.

Amri is suspected of driving a truck into a crowded Berlin Christmas market last Monday, killing 12 people and wounding 48 others.

IS claimed the Berlin attack, while German authorities are investigating to what extent Amri may have received support before or after the assault.

 

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