Nephew, 2 Others Linked to Berlin Attacker Arrested

Tunisia believes they belonged to same militant network
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 24, 2016 7:05 AM CST
Cousin, 2 Others Linked to Berlin Suspect Arrested
Armed police officers stand behind concrete blocks for protection near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016.   (Markus Schreiber)

Tunisia's Interior Ministry says police have arrested the nephew of Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri and two others—and says all three men are suspected of belonging to a terrorist cell and had contacts with Amri. The ministry says the nephew, 18-year-old Fedi, told police he was in contact with Amri encrypted communications to avoid detection. He told police that Amri had recruited him to jihad and asked him to pledge allegiance to ISIS, and that Amri sent him money to join him in Germany. The arrests occurred Saturday, the day after Amri was killed in a shootout with police in Milan, Italy. Video later surfaced of the Tunisian pledging allegiance to ISIS.

The two officers who stopped Amri in Milan are being hailed as heroes in Italy, the New York Times reports. The officer who killed Amri, 29-year-old Luca Scata, had only been on the force for nine months. His colleague, 36-year-old Cristian Movio, was shot during the encounter and is recovering from non-life threatening wounds. Spain's Interior Minister, meanwhile, says police are investigating whether Amri was in contact with another possible extremist in Spain. Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoid says Spanish police are looking into a tip passed on by German authorities that Anis Amri had developed a contact in Spain. CNN reports that investigators believe Amri was part of the "Abu Walaa" extremist recruitment network, centered on a radical preacher who considers himself ISIS' representative in Germany. (Read more Anis Amri stories.)

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