What Was The Role Of Intelligence Services In The Berlin Christmas Market Attack?
Germany – The following research by Stefan Aust and Helmar Büchel suggests that all the unexplainable “accidents” the German authorities made in dealing with Anis Amri in the year leading up to his attack might not have been accidents after all.
Anis Amri under surveillance as early as 2015
By Stefan Aust, Helmar Büchel
Dec. 17, 2017, 00:01h
New insights in the case Amri: The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution had already appointed a dedicated case handler to Amri. Why did she not raise the alarm?
The Berlin Christmas Market attacker Anis Amri was under surveillance, being shadowed and intercepted, much earlier than authorities and Federal government have admitted until now.
This is what emerges from thousands of files, dozens of confidential informant reports, and the protocols of the telephone and internet surveillance, which Welt Am Sonntag have exclusively obtained.
No later than November 2015, the Federal Attorney in Karlsruhe had the Tunisian pointedly surveyed by the Federal Office For Criminal Investigations (BKA) and the Land Office For Criminal Investigations (LKA) North Rhine-Westphalia, by a confidential informant of the police who calls himself “Murat” and appears in the documents as “VP01”.
The measure was part of the covert investigations against the alleged IS terror cell of the hate preacher Abdullah Abdullah from Hildesheim who is known under his pseudonym“Abu Walaa”.
As early as November 24., 2015, more than one year before the attack on the Breitscheidplatz, “VP01” reported concrete terror plans of Amri to the LKA Düsseldorf. From there, they were – just as all further insights – reported on to the BKA, the General Attorney, and the Federal Office For The Protection Of The Constitution. From no later than December 3., 2015, on, the often changing mobile phones of Amri were intercepted, and his internet connections surveyed.
Amri downloaded instructions for explosives
Already on December 14., 2015, Anis Amri downloaded detailed instructions for mixing explosives, and for the construction of bombs and hand grenades, on his smart phone that was intercepted 24/7. From no later than February 2, 2016 on, Amri had phone conversations on this intercepted telephone with two IS cadres on the intermediate level of command, and offered himself as suicide attacker for an attack in Germany.
With the help of the police informant “VP01”, the Intelligence Officers managed the same month to enter the encrypted chat communication of Amri with the IS cadres in the messenger services telegram and whatsapp. While the Federal Government is claiming until now that BND (German Intelligence Service) and BfV (Office For The Protection Of The Constitution), had no operative parts in the Amri case, Welt am Sonntag have obtained emails and files from the authorities that prove a greater role of the German intelligence services. Already in January 2016, the BfV authored a two-page analysis of Anis Amri that was signed by BfV chief Maaßen personally.
12.000 The BKA (Federal Office For Criminal Investigation) sent 12,000 documents to the Office For Protection Of The Constitution.
More than 12,000 files, among them the communication with Amri’s IS contacts in Libya, which were secured from Amri’s smart phone on February 18., 2016, were sent by the BKA to the BfV. This is proven by the evaluating report of the BKA. The Federal Office For Protection Of The Constitution even appointed a dedicated case handler to Anis Amri. This agent (her name is known to Welt Am Sonntag) is employed in the anti terror department of the BfV in Berlin. She is on the same compound with the BKA’s Department 33 for the Protection Of The State which is responsible for Amri, too.
Welt Am Sonntag’s research also proves that Amri had even before his arrival in Italy in April 2011 close personal and even family ties with fighters and leading cadres of the Islamic State in Libya. These contacts were known to the Tunisian secret service for years. BKA and Federal Attorney demonstrably learnt of these family ties of Amri to the Islamic State, when they intercepted a phone call where Amri talked about a death of a cousin, fighting for the IS.
The reason why, in spite of these early, and crushing, findings of the German intelligence agencies, Amri was not arrested already one year before the attack in Berlin, does not emerge from the files available. But several months of investigations by Welt Am Sonntag suggest an involvement of international intelligence services. They might have seen a bait in Amri which would lead them to his instigators, the IS terror attack planners, in Libya.
US air force attacked IS camp
Indeed, Amri was, according to findings of Welt am Sonntag, put under the Italian intelligence service AISI’s surveillance immediately after he was released from deportation custody in May 2015. Allegedly, they lost him, when he went on his way to Germany. Few weeks after he was shot near Milano, B2 stealth bombers from the US air force attacked, in a secret operation managed from Germany, exactly that IS desert camp in Libya, where the instigators of the Breitscheidplatz are suspected.
Hans-Christian Ströbele, member of the secret service control committee of the Bundestag, therefore suspects in an interview with Welt am Sonntag the “governing hand” of a US intelligence service or the US military behind the „otherwise inexplicable“ non-arrest of Anis Amri. The fact that the Federal government has not delivered the solving of the background, which was promised by Merkel the day after the attack,“is a massive scandal”, says Ströbele.
Translator’s note: Abbreviations: BfV, Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic security agency. BKA, Bundeskriminalamt, Federal Criminal Office, Germany’s authority for investigating international organized crime, terrorism and other cases related to national security. BND, Bundesnachrichtendienst, Federal Intelligence Service, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency. LKA, Landeskriminalamt, State Criminal Office, national, independent law enforcement agency in each of the 16 German states.