Berlin truck attack suspect shot dead by Italian police after traffic stop near Milan
Updated: 9:20 a.m. E.T.
Anis Amri, the prime suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack, was killed in a shootout during an early-morning traffic stop in Milan Friday, Italy’s interior minister has confirmed.
Marco Minniti told a press conference that the 24-year-old Tunisian, wanted on suspicion of having killed 12 people in Monday’s truck attack, was stopped during a routine patrol shortly after 3 a.m. in Sesto San Giovanni, a suburb of northern Milan.
Minniti said that when the suspect was asked for his ID papers, he pulled a gun from his backpack and fired. Police returned fire, killing the suspect. One of the officers, Cristian Movio, was shot, but his wounds are not fatal and he is recovering in hospital, Minniti said.
He said that the person shot in Milan was “without a shadow of doubt” the Berlin market attacker, praising the police for their response.
“He was the most wanted man in Europe and we immediately identified him and neutralized him. This means our security is working really well.”
Amri, who authorities had warned could be armed and dangerous, has been the subject of an intense manhunt across Europe. Italian media, citing officials, reported that Amri appeared to have travelled to Milan via Chambéry in France.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel thanked Italian forces and said Amri’s death would not end the investigation, vowing to pursue “each and every aspect” of the attacker’s case.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 23, 2016
German authorities have faced harsh scrutiny over why Amri was still at large and able to carry out the attack, despite having been a known terror threat who had been monitored by security services. Amri had been earmarked for deportation after his asylum bid was rejected, but the process was held up due to his lack of identity papers.
The criticism only escalated after German media released closed-circuit TV footage of Amri visiting a Berlin mosque known for extremist associations in the aftermath of the attack.
The Islamic State group, which has explicitly called for its supporters to kill non-believers by running them over with vehicles, claimed responsibility for Berlin attack. The terror group initially provided no evidence to back up its claim, but on Friday Amaq, its propaganda arm, released a video that shows Amri pledging his allegiance to the group and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In it the video, Amri vowed to take revenge against “crusaders bombing Muslims everyday.”