Anis Amri, the Tunisian suspect in the Berlin truck attack who was shot dead in Milan on Friday, was found to be a small-time criminal that later turned terrorist Killer.
Amri had taken advantage of the turmoil to flee the country, escaping a four-year jail term handed down in absentia for robbery and burglary. Security sources believe the rejected asylum seeker was radicalized during a four-year stint in an Italian prison before he murdered 12 people in Monday’s attack on a Christmas market in the German capital.
Amri, who turned 24 years old while on the run Thursday, was pronounced a “soldier of ISIS” by the ISIS-linked Amaq news agency after the bloody assault. He was 18 when the Tunisian revolution erupted in early 2011 and overthrew long-time dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
He also “left to get away from misery”, his brother Abdelkader told AFP.
“He had no future in Tunisia and wanted at all costs to improve the family’s financial situation. We live below the poverty line, like most families in Oueslatia.”
Like thousands of other migrants, Amri made the dangerous Mediterranean crossing and landed in March on the small Italian island of Lampedusa, where he lied about his age and was taken as an unaccompanied minor to Sicily.
Soon after, Amri was arrested on arson charges for burning a school building which had been converted into a refugee shelter. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
Upon his release, Italy ordered him to leave the country, while Tunisia refused to take him back.