Germans Confirm Market Attacker Was Killed In Italy, Question How He Got There

Dec 23, 2016
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We now know the end for Anis Amri. Police say the suspect in the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market, which killed a dozen people, the suspect fled to France and then to Italy where police killed him today. Our colleague Sylvia Poggioli describes a routine traffic stop in Milan. Police say the man opened fire and officers shot back. Joanna Kakissis is in Berlin with the latest from there. Joanna, what are Germans saying about all this?

JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: So the Germans finally confirmed that it was indeed a Anis Amri, and they're thanking the Italians for the teamwork for catching him, for stopping him. But lots of questions remain as to how he made it to Italy in the first place, especially when there was - there are so many, you know, APBs out on this guy and that he has a criminal past and that he obviously was the prime suspect in this attack at the Christmas market.

INSKEEP: Well, let's remember that we don't have passport controls between the major European countries. But the guy got from Germany to France and then on to Italy. Was there a point where he should have been stopped?

KAKISSIS: Well, I mean, and that's what Germans are asking themselves, and I think probably other Europeans are as well as to - is, you know, we are - we have this freedom of movement within the European Union. But how - what can we do better to help stop situations like this happening? And it's a difficult situation that security officials are in because they want to retain freedom of movement, but you obviously have to stop criminals.

INSKEEP: Why was he still in Europe at all?

KAKISSIS: He was still in Europe because Tunisia did not issue a passport until Wednesday, and so bureaucratically he couldn't leave. He was stuck in here until he was deported.

INSKEEP: Oh, he'd been denied asylum, but he needed to be sent back somewhere and he didn't have the documents to go back.

KAKISSIS: That's correct.

INSKEEP: OK. Well, Joanna, thank you very much, really appreciate it.

KAKISSIS: You're welcome.

INSKEEP: That's reporter Joanna Kakissis. She is in Berlin, and, again, the suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack has been shot and killed according to authorities in Milan, Italy. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.