The man suspected of Monday’s deadly attack on a Christmas market in Germany was arrested in August but released by a judge, it has been revealed. Not only that, but the man was a known terrorism suspect who avoided deportation specifically because he lacked valid identification.
Identity papers for a Tunisian man, currently identified as Anis Amri, were found in the wreckage of a truck that smashed through a Christmas market, killing 12 people and leaving dozens more injured. German police initially arrested a suspect, only to later say they caught the wrong man. They are now pursuing the Tunisian man, who remains at large.
But in a dreadful revelation, German officials have confirmed Amri was arrested in August with fraudulent identity papers, but was subsequently released by a German judge without being deported.
Ralf Jäger, the interior minister for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said Wednesday the man had used numerous aliases, and that German officials had discovered potential links to Islamic State extremists. The man’s asylum request was denied and an order for his deportation was issued in June. But in a bizarre twist, Jäger said the man wasn’t kicked out of the country precisely because he had no valid ID.
“The man could not be deported because he had no valid identification papers,” Jäger said.
Instead, Amri went free, and was apparently able to kill a dozen people as a result.
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