German police continues investigation of the tragedy on Berlin Christmas market that claimed lives of 12 injuring more than 45 people.
Reportedly, the police found an identity document under the driver’s seat of the truck in the name of Anis A., born in the southern city of Tataouine in 1992. The man is also believed to use false names.
According to Reuters, the suspect was known to police as a possibly dangerous individual, and part of a large Islamist network.
Just after the tragedy, the police arrested a Pakistani asylum-seeker near the scene, however later released him without charge. The attacker is now reported to be on the run and citizens are warned that he may be armed. The police have no exact information of whether the perpetrator was acting alone or with others.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility just as in a similar attack in Nice in July when a Tunisian-born man rammed a truck through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day killing eighty-six people. The attacker, who was later identified as a 31-year-old Tunisian-born Frenchman, was killed by the police officers after he had careered on for up to two km (1.5 miles). The man used to break the law but it was connected mostly with such common crimes as theft and violence. His name wasn’t included in the watch list of French intelligence services.
The head of the Association of German Criminal Detectives, Andre Schulz, commented on the attack in Germany and shared that police hoped to make another arrest soon.
“I am relatively confident that we will perhaps tomorrow or in the near future be able to present a new suspect,” he said.
The head of the group of interior ministers from Germany’s 16 federal states, Klaus Bouillon, revealed that the government must provide tougher security measures.
“We want to raise the police presence and strengthen the protection of Christmas markets. We will have more patrols. Officers will have machine guns. We want to make access to markets more difficult, with vehicles parked across them,” Bouillon said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will run for a fourth term next year, is often criticized for her open-door migrant policy, which potentially makes such attacks more likely. She said it would be “particularly repulsive” if a refugee, seeking protection in Germany, was the perpetrator.
As a reminder, on Monday, the 25-tonne truck, belonging to a Polish freight company, smashed into wooden huts serving mulled wine and sausages. The Polish driver of the truck was found shot dead in the cabin of the vehicle. Reportedly, he was alive during the attack. According to the police, there must have been a struggle with the attacker, who may have been injured.