Germany on Wednesday put out a reward of €100,000 (approximately Rs 70 lakh) for information on a Tunisian man who is believed to be behind the Christmas market attack in Berlin that left 12 people dead. The suspect has been identified as 23-year-old Anis Amri, whom authorities said had been under surveillance, and was “violent and armed”. Officials said a manhunt has been launched all over Europe, and that Amri was an ex-convict who had been denied asylum in Germany.
Amri has provided multiple aliases and nationalities in the past, and has links to Abu Walaa, an Islamic State recruiter arrested in Germany in November. Amri had entered Europe in 2012 through Italy, and has been living on a temporary permit in Germany since 2015. German officials did not give out further details of their hunt or his involvement in the attack. It remains unclear whether he was driving the truck used in the rampage.
After the attack, the police had arrested an asylum seeker from Pakistan, but later released him saying they had the wrong man. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the incident, though there is no direct evidence of its involvement. The deaths come at a time when German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces increasing resistance from right-wing groups on her policy of taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees from the world’s crisis-hit zones.