Armed police carry out raids as search for Berlin suspect continues

Heavily armed police carried out overnight raids in Berlin as a Europe-wide manhunt for the main suspect in the lorry massacre continues. A spokesman for Germany’s chief federal prosecutor denied reports in Bild that four people who were in contact with Tunisian Anis Amri have been arrested. Amri, an asylum seeker who was known to police, is suspected of being at the wheel of a hijacked 25-tonne lorry which ploughed into a crowd of shoppers at a busy Christmas market. On Thursday, German media reported that fingerprints belonging to Amri have been found on the door of the lorry.

Civilians are rightly outraged and anxious that such a person can walk around here, keep changing his identity and the legal system can’t cope with them".

Rainer Wendt, the head of a union representing German police

German officials said the 24-year-old came to their attention in March after a tip-off that he might be planning a robbery to raise money for automatic weapons to use in an attack. They followed him until September, when it was decided there was no evidence to back up the original suspicions. Meanwhile, German newspaper Der Spiegel criticised authorities who “had (Amri) in their crosshairs and he still managed to vanish”. On Wednesday, it was reported that police searched a refugee centre in Emmerich, west Germany, where Amri stayed a few months ago, as well as two apartments in Berlin.