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German Police Release Tunisian Man Over Berlin Truck Attack

  • VOA News

FILE - People walk beside concrete barriers at the Brandenburg Gate, ahead of the upcoming New Year's Eve celebrations in Berlin, Dec. 27, 2016.

German authorities have released a Tunisian man who had been detained for alleged links to Anis Amri, the suspect who carried out the deadly attack on a Berlin Christmas market.

Prosecutors said they have determined the the person detained on Wednesday "is not the suspected contact of Anis Amri."

Amri used a truck to plow through the crowded market, killing 12 people and injuring 56 others. Before the attack he made a video in which he pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State terror group and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Anis Amri is shown in handout pictures from the German Bundeskriminalamt Federal Crime Office. Amri is suspected in Monday's truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.

Anis Amri is shown in handout pictures from the German Bundeskriminalamt Federal Crime Office. Amri is suspected in Monday's truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.

After migrating illegally from Tunisia in 2011, Amri was imprisoned for burning down a migrant detention center in Italy. When freed, attempts to deport him to Tunisia failed for bureaucratic reasons. He subsequently traveled to Switzerland and then Germany, where he apparently fell under the influence of a radical network accused of recruiting for the Islamic State group.

Although Germany rejected his asylum application last summer and flagged him as a potential terror threat, authorities patiently waited for Tunisia to produce the required paperwork before deporting him.

Just as the deportation was being finalized, Amri is believed to have hijacked a truck and rammed it into holiday crowds at a Berlin Christmas market.

Amri was shot dead by Italian police at train station in Milan.

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