The Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni has announced that there is no suspected links between the Berlin Christmas market attacker, Anis Amri, and a terror network in Italy where he was shot dead near Milan.
Investigators had been looking for a connection as Amri entered Europe from Tunisia in 2011 via Italy, and after carrying out the Christmas market attack fled to the country on a four-day journey. A search of apartments used by Amri in 2015 uncovered mobile phones. One was used by a Tunisian man currently in prison for drug offences.
Amri, opened fire on a police officer in Sesto San Giovanni district of Milan, wounding the officer’s shoulder. The officer was conducting a routine police stop at the time. Amri was promptly shot dead after shooting the officer.
Amri got to Italy via France by train, departing at the border town of Bardonecchia. He then travelled to Turin before changing trains to Milan. Amri travelled for four days after carrying out the Christmas market attack in Berlin across three countries.
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Prime Minister Gentiloni gave credit to the Italian Police Force but said he and his government would look at ways to strengthen anti-terrorism measures. This would include steps “to make more efficient the repatriation mechanisms from the migrant centres,”
In 2011, Amri managed to stay in the country stating he was a minor. Soon after, he set fire to a migrant centre. Efforts to deport him failed due to bureaucratic reasons.
During the announcement the Italian Prime Minister acknowledged that Amri was radicalized in Italy, saying, “We know that in most cases, the radicalization happens in our prisons, in our neighbourhoods.”
Franco Roberti, Italy’s top anti-terrorism prosecutor told La Repubblica newspaper that Amri “found the convictions of his radicalization path in prison, in desperation, isolation and marginalization.”
The Berlin Christmas market attack left twelve dead after Amri drove a truck into a packed market.