BERLIN Jan 3 German investigators identified
the Tunisian man who killed 12 people in Berlin before Christmas
as a threat in February last year but decided it was unlikely he
would carry out an attack, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Anis Amri, 24, ploughed a truck through a Berlin Christmas
market on Dec. 19. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the
attack, calling the assailant a "soldier" of the militant group.
The German authorities had determined Amri posed a threat
after receiving intelligence showing that in early February he
had been in contact with suspected members of Islamic State and
offered himself as a suicide bomber, the Sueddeutsche reported.
Officials at the German Interior Ministry were not
immediately available for comment.
Amri, whom Italian police shot dead in Milan on Dec. 23, had
wanted to acquire weapons for an attack in Germany and sought
accomplices, the Sueddeutsche said in a joint report with German
broadcasters NDR and WDR, citing security documents.
However, German officials who subsequently met to decide
whether to deport Amri, determined he posed no acute threat that
could be presented in court.
Amri's attack in Berlin has prompted German lawmakers to
call for tougher security measures. In a New Year's
address to the nation, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Islamist
terrorism is the biggest test facing Germany.
(Writing by Paul Carrel; editing by Richard Lough)