Anis Amri, Tunisian suspect in Xmas market attack was monitored for months.
An arrest warrant has been issued for a “failed Tunisian asylum-seeker” whose residence permit was found in the cabin of the lorry used in the Berlin attack on Monday.
The BBC says the suspect, 23-year-old Anis Amri, “was reportedly monitored on suspicion of planning a robbery in order to pay for guns but surveillance was lifted for lack of evidence”.
Amri “somehow managed to give his watchers the slip just weeks before he is now believed to have driven a lorry into a crowded Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing 12 and injuring 49”, the Daily Telegraph says.
His brother, Abdelkader, told AFP news agency in Tunisia he was surprised to see Amri named as the main suspect but he “deserves every condemnation” if he was responsible for the attack.
He added: “I’m in shock and can’t believe it’s him who committed this crime.”
Amri had served four years in prison in Italy for arson and was facing a jail sentence in absentia in Tunisia, according to the Suddeutche Zeitung newspaper. He is known to have used at least six different aliases and had “posed as a citizen of two other countries – Egypt and Lebanon” during his time in Europe, The Guardian reports
German authorities had rejected his appeal for asylum in June and he was due to be deported. However, his return was delayed by “diplomatic wrangling with Tunisia, which at first refused to accept he was one of its nationals”, the Daily Telegraph says.
A €100,000 (£84,000) reward has been issued for information leading to his capture.