ISIS Attacks Germany


On December 19, 2016 a terrorist attack killed 13 people in the heart of Berlin, Germany. The attacker used a truck to mow down pedestrians at a Christmas Market. The Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) took credit for the attack.

The attack started at about 4 in the afternoon when a tractor trailer was hijacked in downtown Berlin. The incident was unknown until the driver was found shot to death in the cab of the truck after the massacre. At about 8 at night, the stolen truck entered a pedestrian marketplace at Breitschaidplatz in Berlin. The driver of the stolen truck began mowing down pedestrians and shopping booths. He then jumped from the moving rig and ran off. When the truck rolled to a halt, the measure of the horrible attack was taken. The plaza was a disaster of broken shops and broken people. In total, 13 people were killed and 56 were injured.

Police responded and initiated an investigation. Initially a Pakistani man was stopped running from the scene, but police ruled him out as a suspect. A search of the cab of the truck turned up immigration paperwork from a man named Amis Amri. In looking into Amri, police found that he had been in contact with an ISIS recruiter. They were confident that they had their man and sent wanted posters to police agencies around the world.

On December 23, 2016, Amri was on a train that pulled into the station at Milan, Italy. As he was leaving the platform, two police officers asked to search his bag. Amri produced a gun and shot one of the officers in the shoulder. The other officer drew his weapon and shot Amri dead.

Amri had been a petty criminal and drug used for most of his adult life. He had been radicalized while serving a prison theft for theft while in Italy. When Amri arrived in Germany in 2015 requesting asylum, he was found to have used numerous different names and claimed several different countries of origin. He reportedly had tried to recruit participants for a terrorist attack, and once tried to buy a pistol from an undercover police officer. He had been overheard by the German intelligence offering to carry out a suicide attack, but the German authorities felt he was not a major player. The German police again warned in March 2016 that he was planning a suicide attack and recommended immediate deportation. However, the German government ruled that they did not have enough cause to deport him.

Christopher Flanagan


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