BERLIN – Police in Germany are hunting Anis Amri, 21, a refugee who came to Germany earlier this year, after his paperwork was found in the killer truck’s footwell.
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The Tunisian asylum seeker has become Europe’s most wanted terrorist after his ID was found under the seat in the lorry that was used to massacre 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market.
Police say he is probably armed, ‘highly dangerous’ and a member of a terrorist organization and has weapons training abroad.
Amri, who was born in the desert town of Tataouine – a well-known ISIS stronghold close to the Libyan border – was apparently recently arrested for GBH but vanished before he could be charged.
The refugee has temporary permission to stay in the country but was due to face an asylum hearing.
Police are believed to have found his blood in the truck’s cab and now assume that the suspect may be badly injured.
Squads of officers have been to every hospital in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg. They also arrested another unnamed suspect in connection with the terror attack but have since ruled him out.
Police insist DNA, GPS and mobile phone data tied to the lorry used to murder and maim could lead to an arrest soon.
Earlier, the police held a Pakistani asylum seeker in the aftermath of the Berlin Christmas market massacre was held because he accidentally jumped a red light.
Naved Baluch, 23, who arrived in Germany a year ago, was seized and blamed for Monday night’s carnage after witnesses saw him commit a traffic offence a mile away.
Detectives, who flew him out of Berlin and across the country to Karlsruhe to question him, took 18 hours to realize Mr. Baluch, who had no blood on his clothes and no injuries, did not drive a lorry through crowds to kill 12 and wound 48 more.
It was only then the security services warned the public that the real ISIS killer was on the run with a gun.
“He was the wrong man,” the police in Berlin said on Tuesday. “The true perpetrator is still armed, at large and can cause further damage.”
Mr Baluch arrived in Germany last New Year’s Eve via the Balkans. He was living in a hangar at the old Tempelhof airport in the middle of Berlin, which police commandos raided at 4am yesterday in search of clues and accomplices.
Twelve people were dead and 48 were injured – 16 seriously – after a lorry was driven at 40mph through crowds at the famous Breitscheidplatz Square Christmas market at 7pm on Monday night.
Victims including children were sent flying like bowling pins and crushed under the 25-ton HGV’s wheels. The driver jumped from the cab and raced from the bloodbath.
Hours earlier the lorry was hijacked from a Polish driver taking steel to Berlin from Italy. Lukasz Urban, a father of one, was found shot dead in its cab. It is not yet clear when he died.
The attacker was followed by a witness for a mile and a half – updating police on his mobile phone – but who is then said to have lost him in the city’s Tiergarten park.
ISIS claimed the attack the following day.