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Thread: Attack in Berlin X-Mas Market

  1. #181
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    Spiegel Online has a pretty interesting interview (German only) with the former landlord of Anis Amri; police considers the landlord an important witness in investigations in the case.

    According to him, while Amri carried an inner radicalized persona, he did live pretty modern and westernized; police that had him under surveillance at the time similarly indicated a conflict in this regard - Amri had contacts to salafists and radical mosques, but on the other hand worked as a small-time drug dealer becoming involved in turf fights who lived it up going to dance clubs at night, doing alcohol, XTC and cocaine and being pretty concerned about his looks. He showed his radical side occasionally. The landlord tells a story about a Libyan flatmate - an army officer in Germany for medical treatment - who'd loudly complain about IS in his home country; Amri got into a fight with him over that, calling him an infidel. Overall he got along with the others in the flat amicably though, if a bit chaotic at chores and such; the landlord - a former Tunisian police officer who had moved to Germany with his German wife 25 years ago and worked as a professional truck driver since then* - and Amri occassionally liked to talk shop about trucks, with Amri telling him he learned how to drive one from his brother (Amri stole a truck in Tunisia at age 18, which he obviously didn't tell him). The final radicalization of Amri only occured during the last two weeks before the attack, with him noticably withdrawing to his room to read the Qu'ran. This led to increasing discomfort for the landlord and the flatmates, with the landlord getting rid of him mid-december.

    Amri last visited the flat on December 19th; apologizing to the Libyan guy "if he had felt insulted by him" as well as the landlord for "any problems during his tenancy" and then packing up the last of his belongings still in the flat. Into the same backpack found in the truck at the christmas market four hours later.

    * small caveat in this regard: The landlord himself has been investigated for possible courier services for a common acquaintance of him and Amri, although the exact items moved can not be qualified. Said acquaintance - Bilel B.A. - last met Amri the day before the attack, eating out with him in a restaurant; while investigations against Bilel B.A. were dropped for lack of evidence of any wrongdoing, he has still been deported to Tunisia since then.

  2. #182
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    Short primers on two attacks over the weekend:

    • Hamburg, North Germany
      • What happened: Guy in supermarket takes knife sold there and uses it to stab other people.
      • Victims: One dead, five injured.
      • Outcome: Ran into Iraqi refugees and some Turkish gang members in the street. Iraqis boxed him in using chairs as shields while gang members threw rocks at him, then Turkish guy clubbed him over the head with a iron bar. Somewhat surprisingly still alive given video of the aftermath shows the guy handcuffed unmoving on the ground with some seemingly unconcerned police officers standing around not really paying much attention to him while a pool of blood spreads out from his head...
      • Nationality of attacker: Palestinian.
      • Refugee: Yes, about to be deported.
      • Terrorism: Considered likely. Attacker has standard vita for recent IS attacks (small-time criminal with drug problems and mental problems turned religious).
      • Investigative process: Mostly investigating his environment. Friend of attacker living in same home was temporarily detained for questioning.

    • Constance, South Germany
      • What happened: Guy gets into a tiff with a doorman at a dance club, goes home to get his assault rifle (some carbine AR15 variant, police later presented a M4), then uses it to get revenge on the doorman and supposedly fires off the rest of the magazine at some clubbers.
      • Victims: One dead (the doorman), three injured - including one police officer whose helmet saved him from a lethal wound (the officer was wearing full "amok gear", i.e. Level IV body armour).
      • Outcome: Attacker killed in firefight six minutes after he fired his first shots - with a handful shots fired by the 22 police officers who were on the scene by that point.
      • Nationality of attacker: (Kurdish) Iraqi.
      • Refugee: No, had been in the country for decades.
      • Terrorism: No. Attacker was brother-in-law of the guy operating and son-in-law of the guy owning the club.
      • Investigative process: Focusing on where he got the gun.

  3. #183
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Kato:

    Excellent summary. Sure you're not a cop? -)

    So did the first attacker survive the bop on the head?
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    So did the first attacker survive the bop on the head?
    Yeah, they put him in a hospital and then arrested him with a court order after treatment. Officially he sustained "light head wounds", which in legal speak means the hospital did not keep him overnight.

    Nationality of that attacker is somewhat complicated and remains under investigation. Apparently he was:
    • born in the United Arab Emirates
    • had Palestinian parents
    • as a Palestinian is technically stateless
    • grew up in Syria
    • entered the EU through Spain and moved on to Sweden
    • exited the EU and entered Germany directly through Norway
    • claimed to no longer have ID papers
    • filed an asylum request in 2015 as a Palestinian

    His asylum request in Germany was rejected in last November, and he was liable for deportation since then; problem was the combination of the above - usually we'd deport stateless Palestinians relatively quickly to Israel where they get arrested on arrival regardless of who they are. The day before the attack he apparently himself inquired with the foreigner office he had to regularly report to whether the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Germany had issued his replacement ID yet.

    The men who intercepted him tag-teamed him pretty much, with first a group of Tunisians and Tunisian-Germans, then some Afghans and a few Iraqis and - after seeing the commotion - the mentioned Turkish guys going after him. The Tunisians also tried to talk to him, but did not understand his dialect of Arabic.

  5. #185
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    The men who intercepted him tag-teamed him pretty much, with first a group of Tunisians and Tunisian-Germans, then some Afghans and a few Iraqis and - after seeing the commotion - the mentioned Turkish guys going after him. The Tunisians also tried to talk to him, but did not understand his dialect of Arabic.
    Seems like the 99% of middle easterners and n. Africans in Europe dislike being tarred as radicals on account of the actions of the 1%. This isn't the first time we've seen the "good" ones go after a "bad" one.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  6. #186
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    P.S.: Add Egypt to the list of countries he was in, apparently he got from there to Spain somehow...

    Authorities tried to deport him to Norway under Dublin treaty since he had already applied for asylum there (while Norway is not a EU member state they're in Dublin in order to be part of Schengen*), but were one day too late in filing for that; under Dublin if you discover such a case you have to deport him within two months, and that's two months to the dot. Hence Norway refused to take him.

    Whole thing has started hitting the election campaigning, even if it's pretty sedate so far. Right-wing CSU, i.e. Merkel's bavarian counterparts, claims that if they had had their way he would have been put in some detention camp, with the SPD responding that Germany still has presumption of innocence as a legal principle. Greens are showing their true conservative colors with a distinct anti-immigrant reaction. CDU, i.e. Merkel's party, calls for simply introducing blanket visa bans for citizens of countries who refuse to have people shoved onto them, i.e. in other words not just refusing entry in the line of Trump but also deporting e.g. those Tunisians. The hard-right wing of the CDU tries to shaft the SPD with supposed responsibility, see also below. AfD, notably for the topic, doesn't pop up at all anymore in the media outside the ultra-right German counterparts of Breitbart, Zerohedge etc.

    There's also some anti-Northerner, rather "those liberal Hamburgers didn't deport him" swing in there (including from right-wing parties in Hamburg, i.e. CDU, AfD and FDP), but that's even more sedate because while Hamburg is run by a left-wing government (SPD/Green/Left) that government has been deporting more people than Hamburg's previous Grand Coalition.

    * Norway not being an EU member state isn't exactly well-known in Germany. In the current debate there's politicians who get that wrong...

    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Seems like the 99% of middle easterners and n. Africans in Europe dislike being tarred as radicals on account of the actions of the 1%.
    One of the first calls to the police was from a Turkish woman btw. She thought the Tunisians were trying to steal the chairs set outside in front of her cafe (which they used to hit the guy).

    One of the guys intercepting him was a 21-year-old Afghan refugee who was working the cashier - and apprenticing as a sales employee - in the supermarket. Way politics over here are going he'll probably get his deportation order back to Afghanistan once he completes his apprenticeship, at least if Merkel is reelected.

    Despite some reports claiming otherwise - mostly based around the fact that the names that pop up in the press in regard to it are "all Muslims" - this whole thing took place in a pretty "white" neighborhood btw. Barmbek-North in Hamburg. Only 6% foreign immigrants (one-third EU), 1% refugees, 13% foreign-born German nationals and 5% German-born foreigners (one-third EU) among the 41,000 people in that area of the city. Under par for Hamburg and about average for Germany as a whole. Down here in the South that would be comparable to some upper-class suburb.
    Last edited by kato; 01 Aug 17, at 19:22.

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Seems like the 99% of middle easterners and n. Africans in Europe dislike being tarred as radicals on account of the actions of the 1%. This isn't the first time we've seen the "good" ones go after a "bad" one.
    Dingdingdingding

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  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    So did the first attacker survive the bop on the head?
    That guy got sentenced last month btw - to life in prison plus "grave guilt" (i.e. no parole hearing in 15 years). During the trial the guy claimed himself to belong to IS and that he was a terrorist, which the court denied him (basically sentencing him as a mere religiously motivated murderer).

    The guys who stopped him (which also included one ethnic German) were honoured by the Hamburg Police Association btw, receiving some price... and a cheque for 500 Euro each.

    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    [*]Constance, South Germany[*]Victims: One dead (the doorman), three injured - including one police officer whose helmet saved him from a lethal wound (the officer was wearing full "amok gear", i.e. Level IV body armour).[*]Outcome: Attacker killed in firefight six minutes after he fired his first shots - with a handful shots fired by the 22 police officers who were on the scene by that point.[/list]
    Correcting this one: Officer was surprised while he was kneeling behind his patrol car putting on his body armour; he had just put on the helmet when the .223 hit it. Overall casualty numbers were: killed - perpetrator and security guy, injured - the police officers, two security guys, two bystanders; eleven people were lightly injured mostly in the panic of evacuating the club. The perpetrator was killed when a single officer fired a double-tap from his service pistol. No other shots were fired by police. The providence of his full-auto M4 remains unknown, at least as of the last press report on it (which was four months later).

  9. #189
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    The providence of his full-auto M4 remains unknown, at least as of the last press report on it (which was four months later).
    Is it actually a bona fide M4 or an AR-15/clone?

  10. #190
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    Haven't seen anything since the initial investigations - about a week after it happened - but it's apparently a bona fide Colt M4A1, not a clone.

    Investigations at that time were into whether it was a stolen US Army weapon, smuggled in from Switzerland or a decoration weapon reactivated with parts bought via Darknet or other black market sources. In the later case it could still be an original Colt, you can buy original-production deactivated M16 and M4 from Colt legally over the internet in Germany (they're about 1100-1200 Euro). He was apparently also using original Colt USGI 20-round magazines.

    The shoulder stock of the weapon broke when he tried to bash in a door with it during his run.

    ---

    Found something else while looking for this though:

    - the weapon that Anis Amri used in the Christmas Attack (to shoot the truck driver) was a ERMA EP552 .22LR pistol
    - this pistol was last sold legally to a gun shop in Constance in 1992; the gunshop got it and several other identical pistols through Frankonia, one of the largest German online gun retailers today (they were selling through mail-order catalogues back then)
    - a Swiss biker who did this kind of thing regularly bought it there, legally brought it across the border and sold it in Switzerland - as a set of two dozen other .22LR pistols and 20 other guns to a Yugoslavian (incl. an AK-47 that he got less legally)
    - that - Kosovarian - Yugoslavian smuggled three dozen of those small arms back to Kosovo, including the above pistol, later claiming he was only "helping out relatives"
    - both were caught and convicted in Switzerland in 1994
    - the Yugoslav guy - who is styling himself as a UCK freedom fighter, mind you the above was six years before the UCK was around - received a suspended sentence and apparently emigrated to the USA (he's now living in "Eastern Europe", i.e. probably Ukraine)
    - how the pistol got from Kosovo to Berlin in the 23 years inbetween is unknown.

  11. #191
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    Short recap for today, putting it here since international media will connect events mistakenly anyway...:

    Where : Münster, NRW
    What happened: Van crashed into crowded outside seating of a restaurant downtown
    Victims: 3 dead, 20-50 injured including 6 critical.
    Perpetrator: 48-year-old German national with known psychiatric history, shot himself still in the car

    Police is investigating connections to an event in Cottbus, East Germany yesterday evening, where an as of yet unknown perpetrator drove a jeep into a group of ten people, injuring two. Police had originally in that case assumed that a 25-year-old arrested temporarily earlier the same day for insulting police officers and screaming neonazi paroles while drunk might be the perpetrator.

    In Münster police was able to relatively quickly respond to the incident since they were deployed to protect a nearby pro-Kurdish rally that was supposed to start at around the time of the incident.
    Last edited by kato; 08 Apr 18, at 21:33.

  12. #192
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Thanks kato. Insightful as always.

    http://www.dw.com/en/german-police-t...hon/a-43300143

    German police thwart knife attack on Berlin Half Marathon

    Police have foiled an attack on the Berlin Half Marathon that took place on Sunday, according to German daily newspaper Die Welt.

    Berlin police detained six men, one of whom was planning a knife attack on spectators at the half marathon. Officers had earlier found two sharpened knives during a raid on the man's apartment in the west of the city.

    "We're still evaluating [the situation]," a senior investigator told the newspaper, adding: "It was probably a close call."

    Berlin police confirmed in a statement that they had arrested six suspects aged 18 to 21 in connection with planning a " violent crime" during the half marathon, but did not provide more details.

    Link to 2016 Christmas market attack

    According to Die Welt, the lead suspect who had planned the knife attack reportedly knew Anis Amri, a Tunisian who killed 12 people and injured several dozen more when he drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016.

    The suspect reportedly wanted to take revenge for Amri's death. He was not however a "concrete threat" as security services had been observing him for some time.

    The other three suspects also had links to Amri, according to the newspaper.

    Heightened security

    This year's half marathon attracted more than 30,000 participants, according to organizer SCC Events.

    An SCC spokesperson told dpa news agency that "everything had gone smoothly" during the race.

    Berlin authorities had stepped up security for the event following a van attack in the western German city of Münster on Saturday that left two bystanders dead.
    Police have detained six men in Berlin who they say have links to the 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack. The lead suspect was planning to attack spectators at the half marathon with knives.
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  13. #193
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    Berlin authorities had stepped up security for the event following a van attack in the western German city of Münster on Saturday that left two bystanders dead.
    Actually Berlin authorities said that in the wake of the incident in Münster with at the time unknown motive or details they decided to jump the gun on a group that they had been having under surveillance for the last couple weeks.

    Despite the high significance of the group this short timing forced them to only use state forces in detaining them - because GSG9 and the SWAT team of the BKA (German counterpart of FBI) were busy supporting raids on 20 apartments of a group of Reichsbürger at the same time in Berlin and surrounding Brandenburg, a longer planned operation. The group - of the pre-Weimar persuasion - is accused of forming a terrorist group and obtaining weapons as well.

  14. #194
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    The half-marathon suspects have been released.

    http://www.dw.com/en/berlin-half-mar...eed/a-43312759
    Berlin Half Marathon 'crime' suspects freed

    Six men detained on suspicion of planning an 'act of violence' at a major sporting event in the German capital have been released. Two of them reportedly had links to Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri.

    German authorities have released six men arrested for possibly planning to commit a "crime" at Berlin's Half Marathon, a spokesman for the Berlin public prosecutor's office said on Monday.

    Police had no urgent and concrete suspicion with regard to the men, aged between 18 and 21, he said, although undercover investigators had detected "suspicious behavior" on their part before the sporting event, which took place on Sunday.

    Searches of several apartments failed to turn up any weapons, explosives or other suspicious items.

    Although no arrest warrants were issued for the suspects, investigations of confiscated mobile telephones and data storage devices were ongoing, according to the spokesman.

    Possible links to Anis Amri

    He said two of the men had connections to the same Islamist scene as Anis Amri, a Tunisian who carried out a deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016 in which 12 people died and more than 70 others were injured.

    Authorities in Germany have been on heightened alert following a van attack in the western city of Münster on Saturday that left two people dead. No terrorist motive is suspected in that attack.

    Investigators said that the Berlin race, which went ahead without disruption, was not in any danger.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 11 Apr 18, at 02:15.
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