Berlin, Dec 23 (IANS/AKI) Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere on Friday hailed the killing by police in Milan of a Tunisian suspected of the deadly Berlin Christmas market truck attack after a four-day manhunt.
At a news conference in Berlin, De Maiziere called the slaying of 24-year-old Anis Amri by a rookie policeman in a shoot-out “an incredible success”.
But he warned: “The terrorism threat in Germany has not eased, despite this incredible success.
“We want to make Germany safer.”
De Maiziere thanked Italian authorities stressing: “the importance of European and transatlantic cooperation on security”.
Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni has congratulated Milan’s chief of police on Friday’s operation in Sesto San Giovanni on the city’s northern outskirts, according to sources at the Prime Minister’s Office.
“We remain on high alert and no threat should be underestimated. But I think what happened in the early hours of today allows our citizens to know the Italian state is there for them,” said Gentiloni.
Identity checks had established “without a shadow of doubt” that the man fatally shot by police at 3 a.m. in Milan was Amri, Italian Interior Minister Marco Miniti said.
German police found Amri’s wallet and ID and his fingerprints inside the cab of the hijacked lorry he allegedly drove into crowds at Berlin’s central Breitscheidplatz market on Monday, killing 12 people and injuring 53.
He is believed to have arrived in Milan by rail from France two hours before he was killed after changing trains in Turin.
The Berlin attack was claimed by the Islamic State to whom Amri pledged allegiance in a selfie-style video issued by the jihadist group via its Amaq news agency on Friday, according to the US terrorist tracking organisation SITE. Amir vows to kill “pig eaters” in the video.