A special investigator into the case of the Berlin Christmas Market terrorist Anis Amri claims police manipulated files and could have captured Amri before the attack took place.
Former Federal Prosecutor Bruno Jost gave his interim report to the Berlin Senate regarding the case of failed Tunisian asylum seeker turned terrorist Anis Amri.
He claimed that an official of the Berlin police (LKA) had shortened and revised a November 2016 report to make it look like Amri had only committed one drug offence rather than the original report which claimed he was trafficking larger amounts of drugs RP Online reports.
The change is important, not only because it took place a full month before Amri stole a lorry and used to kill a dozen people, but because the previous charge could have led to his arrest and deportation.
“The document was full of mistakes in content, incoherent, and was issued, indeed, only on January 18, 2017,” Jost said in his report.
Jost was able to obtain another file compiled by an investigator he referred to simply a “W” which showed police had known Amri’s connection to the drug trade since September of 2016. Amri was connected to smuggling large quantities of cocaine, amphetamines and hashish according to “W”.
“From my experience, I can say that there was no evidence against the issuing of an arrest warrant,” Jost said.
According to Jost, the police computer showed the person logged in who manipulated the files to be a police commissioner. The motive for the changes are still unknown and Jost said they will be examined by an inquiry which is set to start on July 6.
Amri was already known to the intelligence services as being connected to the radical Islamist Salafist scene in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia before the attack. In the aftermath of the terror attack, several Salafist mosques with connections to Amri were raided and one organisation, the “Deutschsprachiger Islamkreis Hildesheim” (DIK) was banned.
A source from the DIK had told authorities that Amri was looking to plot a terror attack but the threat was not taken seriously at the time.
Police have also noticed a growing trend between drug dealers and radical Islamists across the country after the arrest of several asylum seekers who had links to the Islamic State for drug trafficking. In some areas of Germany, asylum seekers have been taking over the local drug scene, often through the use of violence.