14:23 GMT +322 October 2019
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    German police officers watch over a security check near the capital's Brandenburg Gate on December 31, 2016, as revellers arrive for New Year celebrations

    German Police Believe Half of 'Dangerous' Islamists Don't Pose a Threat - Report

    © AFP 2019 / John MACDOUGALL
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    As several arrests took place in Germany as part of an investigation into alleged Islamists linked to Tunisian national Anis Amri who organized one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country last year, a new analytical system developed by German police to identify potential terrorists came to a surprising conclusion.

    German law-enforcement agencies assume that around half of the 720 people residing on the German soil and classified as "dangerous Islamists" do not actually pose a serious terror risk, the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reported on Monday.

    The data is based on a new form of analysis carried out by 16 police services from Germany's federal states and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

    The system called Radar-ITE was developed by the BKA and a group of Swiss researchers and involves 73 key characteristics, which are supposed to identify the level of the terror threat posed by a particular person.

    The classification factors include such issues as the level of socialization and integration, family ties and employment.

    Based on the analysis of these factors, German security officers have come to the conclusion that about half of people that were listed as dangerous may in fact not pose any particular terrorist risk, while the other half is, on the contrary, considered highly dangerous.

    The assumption has been made amid a recent report by the Welt newspaper, according to which German authorities were aware that Anis Amri, a young Tunisian national, who drove the vehicle into a crowd, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more at a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016, posed a clear danger more than one year before the attack, far earlier than previously assumed.

    In particular, the report argues, that already by late 2015 mobile phone and internet activities of the Tunisian man were put under surveillance and that the intelligence services knew for sure that Amri downloaded instructions for making explosives and contacted Daesh terrorists in Libya.

    The newspaper couldn't provide any exact explanations of why intelligence didn't do anything if they knew about the man's links to terrorist groups.

    The report, however, assumed that intelligence services may have hoped that he would lead them to other more important terrorists.

    Amri entered the EU in 2011, traveling from Tunisia to Italy and posing as a minor; he entered Germany in mid-2015. While in Germany, Amri attempted multiple times to apply for political asylum. He was detained by police in mid-2016 on suspicion of having used fake identity documents and was about to be deported, but was then released. After the Christmas market attack, Amri was killed in Milan during a shoot-out with police. The mass-murderer was affiliated with the terrorist group Daesh.


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    Islamism, terror threat, terrorism, police, Germany
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