Anis Amri, 24, above, the Tunisian man suspected of carrying out the Berlin truck attack was shot dead by police in Milan earlier today.
Amri, according to The Telegraph, was the subject of a widespread manhunt following Monday’s atrocity which left 12 people dead and 49 injured. The Islamic State jihadist group said they were behind the attack.
Identity checks had established “without a shadow of doubt” that the dead man was Amri, the Minister said.
Amri had been missing since escaping after Monday’s attack in central Berlin. He had links to Italy, having arrived in the country from his native Tunisia in 2011.
Shortly after his arrival in Italy he was sentenced to a four-year prison term for starting a fire in a refugee centre. He was released in 2015 and made his way to Germany.
German police said Amri steered the 40-tonne truck in the attack after finding his identity papers and fingerprints inside the cab, next to the body of its registered Polish driver who was killed with a gunshot to the head.
A Europe-wide wanted notice had offered a 100,000-euro ($104,000) reward for information leading to Amri’s arrest.
Telegraph correspondent Josephine McKenna, in Italy, reports that anti-terrorism sources are saying Anis Amri traveled to Italy via Chambéry to Turin and then to Milan.
Amri’s ability to make such a journey undetected across multiple countries is bound to raise questions about security failures in Europe and whether open borders within the Schengen area are allowing extremists to move about freely.
People in Germany had been living with the fear that the suspect in the Berlin attack was still at large and could strike again.
Over the days following the attack, Christmas markets in the centre of the city have been free of the large crowds that usually gather throughout the festive season.
Writing for The Spectator beneath the headline “Islamofascism and appeasement are the biggest dangers facing the West,” Gavin Mortimer quotes François Fillon, the centre-right candidate in France’s presidential election as saying:
After each new outrage, we go through the same sadly familiar and repetitive scenario with the president and the politicians lighting candles to commemorate the massacre and observing the rituals of compassion.
Mortimer, a writer and historian who lives in Paris, commented:
In Angela Merkel’s case, it was laying a white rose at the scene of slaughter, an act she described as ‘incomprehensible’. Only it wasn’t, it was all too comprehensible to those who predicted that her decision to open Germany’s borders was a monumental misjudgement. Incomprehensible are the blunders made by the German security services who had been tracking Anis Amri since March; incomprehensible are the German privacy laws that meant the media wasn’t able to show a photograph of Amri; incomprehensible were the words of a German journalist who tweeted that the best response to the massacre was ‘patience, empathy and humanity’.
Patience for what? Until it’s our turn to be shot, knifed, blown up or run over by the Islamists?