At the German government’s daily press conference the ministerial officials are coming under huge pressure to explain why Anis Amri was able to move freely in Germany and plan his attack under the nose of authorities, particularly following the emergence of the footage showing that he was monitored entering an Isis (Islamic State)-associated mosque in Berlin on 14 and 15 December and again leaving it seven hours after the attack.
The officials are very defensive, and have several times answered journalists that they cannot answer many of the questions, and that it would be disrespectful to speculate while many of the victims of the attack have not even yet been buried.
A German interior ministry official says:
We have to ask ourselves ‘can we not improve the [security] measures?’
Another official says they cannot confirm the death of Amri “because that is up to the Italian authorities”.
Italy says that the weapon in the shootout was the same that killed the Polish lorry driver who was Monday’s 1st victim.
Interior ministry spokesman, Tobias Plate, told reporters:
There are growing signs that this is actually the person (wanted in the attack). Should this be proved true, the ministry is relieved that this person no longer poses a danger.
Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Berlin was “grateful to the Italian authorities for the very close cooperation based on trust”.
Plate said that Berlin had not yet received “official confirmation” from Italy that the dead man was in fact the suspect, Anis Amri, after Italy’s interior minister Marco Minniti told a news conference in Rome that Amri had been shot after firing at two police officers.
A spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ulrike Demmer, declined to comment until the written confirmation had arrived from Rome.
“I ask you for a bit of patience,” she said.