German interior minister says terrorism threat in Germany remains high

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that despite the killing of suspected Berlin attacker Anis Amri, the threat to Germany from terrorism remains high.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that despite the killing of suspected Berlin attacker Anis Amri, the threat to Germany from terrorism remains high.PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (REUTERS, AFP) - The threat to Germany from terrorism remains high, despite the killing of suspected Berlin attacker Anis Amri, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Friday (Dec 23).

"The conclusion of the manhunt does not unfortunately change the terror threat level in Germany - it remains high and the authorities remain vigilant," he told a news conference.

De Maiziere also said he would discuss with Justice Minister Heiko Maas what changes needed to be made as a consequence of the attack, though highlighted he had already made proposals on changing deportation rules.

"I reserve the right to make further proposals in order to make Germany even safer," he said.

Germany’s top federal prosecutor Peter Frank said that the investigation into the attack that killed 12 people would continue to determine whether Amri had any accomplices.

“Even though the suspect Anis Amri has died, we’ll continue our investigation,” Frank said.

“It’s very important for us now to find out whether there was a network of supporters and accomplices, whether there were confidants who helped the sought person to prepare and conduct the attack and to escape.” 

Frank said investigators also hoped to learn whether the firearm Amri used against police in Milan was the same weapon used to shoot dead the Polish registered driver of the truck that was hijacked to mow down holiday revellers in Berlin on Monday.

Federal police chief Holger Muench said that “hundreds of investigators” would be working on the case “despite the Christmas holidays” beginning Saturday.  

Amri, 24, was suspected of killing 12 people and wounding dozens more in Monday’s assault on the Christmas market, which has been claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.  

Italy’s interior minister Marco Minniti told reporters in Rome that Amri had been fatally shot after pulling out a pistol and firing at police who had stopped him for a routine identity check around 3:00 am (0200 GMT) near Milan’s Sesto San Giovanni train station.

Identity checks had established “without a shadow of doubt” that the dead man was Amri, the minister said.