Italian police happened across Berlin terrorist Anis Amri in a routine stop outside the city of Milan Friday, killing him in a shootout.
How Amri, the subject of a continent wide manhunt, was able to freely travel through multiple different countries is unclear. Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti tried to make the stop appear intentional saying, “As soon as this person entered our country, he was the most wanted man in Europe, and we immediately identified him and neutralized him,” elaborating “This means that our security is working really well.”
Minniti’s statement heavily clashes with Milan’s announcement that Amri had been killed. In the announcement, Police Chief Antonio De Iesu specified that “It was a regular patrol, under the new system of intensified police checks on the territory,” elaborating “They had no perception that it could be him, otherwise they’d have been more careful.”
Police reportedly approached Amri as he suspiciously waited outside a Milan Subway station and asked him for identification papers. After officers asked Amri to turn out his pockets, he pulled a gun and wounded an officer. The remaining officer killed Amri in a short gunfire exchange. The wounded officer was then transported to a local hospital with no life threatening injuries.
The happenstance nature of Amri’s death highlights the growing problem European security services face trying to track and identify violent jihadists. Europe’s internal open borders policy is routinely taken advantage of by terrorists, to plan operations in one country and execute them in another.
Amri reportedly arrived in Germany in 2015, after serving four years in an Italian jail for burning down a school. He fell into a group of known ISIS sympathizers, was under German surveillance for a number of months, and was arrested with false identity papers. Amri faced deportation, but German authorities could not get rid of him because the Tunisian government refused to authenticate his identity.
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