German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered a comprehensive review of the country’s security infrastructure on Friday. Her government and the Berlin police have faced hefty criticism after a terrorist killed 12 people and injured 49 at a Christmas market in the capital and managed to escape on foot, Deutsche Welle reports.
A 24-year-old Tunisian Anis Amri was killed four days after the Monday attack in a shootout with Italian police in Milan. The German authorities have come under increasingly intense ire from the public after it emerged that Amri was well-known to security services for his involvement with radical jihadis and was even under surveillance for six months.
“The Amri case raises questions – questions that are not only tied to this crime but also to the time before, since he came to Germany in July 2015,” said Merkel, referring to his prior conviction for arson in Italy, for which he served a four-year prison sentence.
“We will now intensively examine to what extent official procedures need to be changed,” the chancellor added, saying she had already been on the phone with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi to discuss expediting the process of deporting rejected asylum seekers. Amri’s application for asylum had been turned down in June, but because it took so long to confirm his Tunisian citizenship, he was able to remain in Germany.