Calls for Accountability Mount over Berlin Attack

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The political fallout from the lethal truck attack against a Berlin Christmas market could lead to a reorganization of Germany’s security services.

  • Facts


    • Anis Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian refugee, was under police surveillance for months before he carried out the fatal truck attack against a Berlin Christmas market.
    • Amri lived in a refugee shelter in North Rhine-Westphalia. His asylum application was rejected, but authorities were unable to deport him because he lacked papers.
    • North Rhine-Westphalia’s interior minister, Ralf Jäger, said authorities didn’t have enough concrete evidence to convict Amri in a court.
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Sondersitzung Innenaussschuss Landtag NRW
The interior minister for North-Rhine Westfalia had questions to answer over Anis Amri. Source: Roland Weihrauch/dpa

There are growing calls for political accountability in Germany as the public emerges from the shock and trauma of the country’s most deadly terrorist attack in recent memory. A western German state, hundreds of miles from where the Berlin attack took place, is bearing the brunt ot it.

The political opposition in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia called a special session of the regional parliament on Thursday to question Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger about why authorities failed to prevent the truck attack that killed 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market in December.

Anis Amri, the 24-year-old Tunisian perpetrator, was under police surveillance as a potential terrorist threat months prior to the Berlin attack. Amri had arrived in Germany as a refugee in 2015 and lived at a shelter in North Rhine-Westphalia, where he made connections with local Islamists.

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