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Security failures to blame for 2016 Berlin attack

A report has found that a series of security failures allowed a terrorist to slip through the net and carry out the Christmas market attack in Berlin in 2016.

Anis Amri, who was known to security services more than a year before the attack, killed 12 people in the incident – shooting a lorry driver and ploughing the vehicle into pedestrians in Germany’s worst extremist attack. More than 50 people were also injured in the attack.

Observation on Amri, that had been in place since he arrived in Germany illegally in 2015, was scaled down by mid-2016 when signs of extremism were thought to be waning.

The 1,200-page report by politicians in Berlin said authorities failed to monitor Amri’s movements at weekends or investigate his potential extremist contacts. The paper also blamed staff shortages and poor co-operation between security services for the failure to thwart the attack.

Amri, originally from Tunisia, was killed in a shootout with Italian police days after the attack.

Stephan Lenz, chairman of the inquiry panel, said: “We found numerous mistakes and the sum of these mistakes and failures made the attack possible. There were a number of individual miscalculations, there were structural deficits in the security architecture, there were shortages of staff. All of this together led to Amri not being stopped and being able to carry out the attack.”

Berlin’s Social Democratic Party, the city government's leading party since 2001, said counter terrorism measures had improved since Amri’s attack.

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