The attack – How terrorism came to Berlin | Close up - The Current Affairs Documentary | DW | 19.12.2017
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Close up

The attack – How terrorism came to Berlin

In December 2016, the Islamist Anis Amri drove a hijacked truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. Amri's connection to the "Islamic State" was known. So why did police not prevent this terrorist attack in Germany's capital?

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In the weeks and months following the attack, one question came up again and again: how could the German state have enabled an Islamic extremist, whom officials had already labelled an "endangerer," to carry out a bloodbath in the heart of the capital? How could Anis Amri, the future attacker, have slipped under the radar of security authorities?

A team of reporters spent the past year reconstructing the events, following the attacker's trail and analyzing secret files and reports. They questioned investigators, security experts and officials, interviewed people who knew Amri and spoke with families of the victims.

Their research shows that the attack was preceded by a chain of misjudgments, mistakes and negligence on the part of security services. Police and intelligence officials had their eye on the attacker, but individual errors and structural failure in the security system led to the terrorist attack at Breitscheidplatz.