German police officers went to search Amri's former refugee residence earlier today but left because of mistakes on their paperwork. "Before entering Germany, he served four years for arson in Italy and faced a jail sentence in absentia in Tunisia."
12/21/16, "Berlin truck attack: Tunisian fugitive 'had been under surveillance'," BBC
"The Tunisian man wanted for the Berlin lorry attack which killed 12 people and injured 49 had been under surveillance earlier this year, media reports say.
Before entering Germany, he served four years for arson in Italy and faced a jail sentence in absentia in Tunisia.
The failed asylum seeker is now the subject of a manhunt across Europe.
An arrest warrant was issued after his residence permit was found in the cab of the lorry that left a trail of carnage at a Christmas market near Berlin's most famous shopping street, the Kurfuerstendamm, on Monday evening.
The German authorities warn he could be armed and dangerous and are offering a reward of up to €100,000 (£84,000; $104,000) for information leading to his arrest.
Reports suggest he may have been injured in a struggle with the lorry driver, found murdered in the cab. The attack claimed 12 lives in all....
German judicial sources say the suspect, who reportedly entered Germany last year, was monitored in Berlin between March and September on suspicion of planning a robbery to pay for automatic weapons for use in an attack.
Surveillance was reportedly called off after it turned up nothing more than drug-dealing in a Berlin park and a bar brawl before the suspect disappeared from his regular haunts in Berlin.
Ralf Jaeger, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, confirmed that Anis Amri had, more recently, attracted the attention of counter-terrorism police.
"Security agencies exchanged their findings and information about this person with the Joint Counter-Terrorism Centre in November 2016," the minister said.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reports that the suspect moved within the circle of an Islamist preacher, Ahmad Abdelazziz A, known as Abu Walaa, who was arrested in November.
A police notice lists six different aliases used by Anis Amri, who at times tried to pass himself off as an Egyptian or Lebanese.
The suspect was facing deportation as of June but there was a delay in receiving paperwork from Tunisia."...
"“Tunisia at first denied that this person was its citizen, and the papers weren’t issued for a long time,” Jaeger said. “They arrived today.”...
The new suspect apparently arrived in Germany in July 2015 and lived in three German regions since February, mostly in Berlin, said Ralf Jaeger, the interior minister of western North Rhine-Westphalia state.
Jaeger told reporters on Wednesday that state police had launched proceedings against the man on suspicion that he was preparing a serious crime. He said “security agencies exchanged information about this person in the joint counter-terrorism center, the last time in November.”
Separately, the man’s asylum application was rejected in July. German authorities prepared to deport him but weren’t able to do so because he didn’t have valid identity papers, Jaeger said. In August they started trying to get him a replacement passport."...12/21/16, "Berlin market attack: “Armed and dangerous” Tunisian Anis Amri hunted throughout Europe," CBS News/AP
(continuing, BBC): "History of crime...
The suspect has a history of crime:
- Anis Amri's father and security sources told a Tunisian radio station that after leaving Tunisia about seven years ago, he had served four years in an Italian prison over a fire at a school
- He was also sentenced to five years in prison in Tunisia in absentia, reportedly for aggravated theft with violence
'Struggle with driver'
Some 49 people were also injured when the lorry was driven into crowds at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market. So-called Islamic State said one of its militants carried out the attack but offered no evidence.
Polish citizen Lukasz Urban was found dead on the passenger seat with gunshot and stab wounds.
Investigators believe the lorry was hijacked on Monday afternoon as it stood in an industrial zone in north-western Berlin, Germany's Bild tabloid reports.
Mr Urban had stopped there after the delivery of Italian steel beams he was carrying was postponed until Tuesday.
GPS data from the vehicle reportedly shows it made small movements "as if someone was learning how to drive it" before leaving for the city at 19:40 (18:40 GMT), heading for the Christmas market near the Kurfuerstendamm, Berlin's main shopping street....
Where Amri stayed: Gavin Lee, BBC News, Emmerich
In a small detached building surrounded by fields, 16 male migrants live on two floors in basic, student-style accommodation. I knocked on each of their doors, The young Iraqi and Albanian refugees who answered claimed they knew little about Anis Amri, who stayed here for a short time.
"I don't recognise his face," Andi from Albania told me as I showed him a picture of the Berlin suspect. "But we've been talking about this attack with other refugees," he added, "and about how this man had jihadist contacts around here. Maybe he did. It's horrible around here. We hate it but no one here knew much about him."
There is a swastika graffiti sign on the corridor wall, evidence of anti-migrant sentiment, which migrants say was done by locals two months ago.
The site's night manager, who did not want to be identified, told me he had recognised Amri "straightaway" because "We're a small place. I know everyone who stays here." Staff said Amri had "disappeared" after "a brief stay".
We are told that police officers attempted to search the premises earlier today but left because of mistakes on their paperwork. They have not returned. This place offers a glimpse into the life and activity of Europe's most wanted terror suspect but it appears to be a trail that goes cold quickly."...image from thinkstock