Screenshot from the video of a surveillance camera published by rbb24.
Video footage of attack raises questions – house of representatives sues federal interior ministry – chancellor involved in deportations of amri accomplices?
Nothing goes in the case of the terrorist attack on the breitscheidplatz in berlin his regular course of investigation: -new video footage of the crime draws the official version once again in doubt. – parliamentary inquiry committees are supplied with evidence, but to all appearances incomplete. – did the security authorities know earlier than they admit that the tunisian anis amri was involved in the crime?? – berlin house of representatives sues german government for full release of crime files. And the berlin investigative committee requests the imposition of an administrative fine on two officials of the state criminal police office for refusing to provide information. – the bundestag investigative committee even learns that the chancellor was involved in the deportation of amri’s contacts. – finally: the federal minister of the interior and the berlin senator of the interior repeatedly meet with victims of the attack and repeatedly promise "unfailing clarification".
Video raises new questions
In august, additional video footage of the crime became public, raising the question of where the driver of the truck went after driving into the crowd at the christmas market. So far, the public only knows a 12-second video sequence of the death drive itself, which was broadcast by the ard magazine kontraste. The film breaks off when the truck comes to a stop.
The 12-second video is an excerpt from a video several minutes long, taken from the europacenter high-rise building at breitscheidplatz. The video shows how the driver’s door of the truck opens and a person gets out. This happens only several seconds after the truck had come to a standstill. In the two to three seconds after getting out of the truck, this person does not run across the street to the other side of the street in the direction of the subway entrance, but remains near the truck.
What happens then is no longer recognizable, since the video was cut at that point, presumably by the federal criminal police office (bka). The video continues only when the yellow bus of the berlin transport company is already standing behind the vehicle. There are 30 to 40 seconds missing in the sequence of events.
This lucke fills – partially – now the 34 seconds long video newly published by the rundfunk berlin brandenburg (rbb), taken from the opposite side of the street, the so-called bikini-haus. On it you can see the bus approaching and coming to a stop. This takes about 30 seconds.
However, the gap in the sequence of events is not completely closed, because you can’t see how the truck breaks through the stalls to the street, how the driver gets out and where he moves to. Was this cut away or did the recording start only afterwards??
In any case, the video footage does not match the official version of the incident, according to which the driver immediately ran across the street and cursed his way to the subway. With this immediate escape, the federal prosecutor’s office (baw) also explains why the perpetrator did not have time to push the regular polish truck driver until he reached the scene of the attack. This is what amri did when he took control of the truck half an hour earlier, according to the baw.
Instead, the video footage may rather truncate the testimony of at least three eyewitnesses who claim to have perceived two people in the cockpit of the truck. One witness even states that the co-driver grabbed the driver’s steering wheel so that the truck was steered to the left onto the road. If the driver got out only after a few seconds, in this time he had been able to push the forwarding driver lukasz urban. In fact, at least two witnesses perceived a gunshot after the death drive on breitscheidplatz.
The parliamentary investigative committees have obtained extensive film and image files from the day of the crime, the 19. December 2016, in the rough order of about "10 terabytes" (committee member martina renner, left party), but apparently the several minutes long final film from the europacenter is not among them. Several members of the bundestag committee who had made an initial review of the material could not remember this piece, especially since it is the only one known so far that shows the attack itself. The federal prosecutor’s office in karlsruhe has the footage on hand.
Several deputies suspect that they are being bombarded with too much irrelevant material to keep them busy and stifle their investigative capacities.
What were the police officers doing at the fussilet mosque??
However, other video footage from the night of the attack also raises questions: surveillance camera footage from the fussilet mosque in berlin. The fussilet mosque was a meeting place for the violent islamist scene. Amri regularly stayed there, even shortly before the attack he is said to have visited them. Several security agencies kept informers at the facility and thus knew exactly which people frequented it.
In addition, curiously, directly across the street is a crude police station where both police and interception had installed surveillance cameras. As reported by the daily newspaper die welt, these cameras are said to have recorded that shortly after 1:00 a.M. On 20. December 2016 two policemen go to the building where the mosque, which had been closed in the meantime, was located. Only a few minutes later, at 1:11 a.M., they are said to have come out again and driven away.
What did the policemen want in the mosque and why did their visit last only a few minutes? If they were interested in anis amri, this could mean that he was considered as the perpetrator in the investigative circles earlier than it has been presented so far. So far, it says officially, only at noon the following day 20. By december, amri’s identity had been established after cell phones, wallet and papers were found in and on the truck. Suspicious is, as the world journalists write, that this operation in the mosque was not listed in the official operation protocol.
Back to 2019: in august, the prasidium of the berlin house of representatives decided to sue the federal ministry of the interior for full release of files on the crime. The files supplied from there to the investigating committee, so the faction-covering opinion in the committee, were "unusable", because blacked out or empty or unidentifiable.
The federal ministry of the interior is of the opinion that a state authority does not have to control a federal authority. The fact that the attack took place in berlin and is therefore a matter for the berlin house of representatives does not pay off for the german government. Now the federal administrative court must decide on the conflict.
The berlin committee has also meanwhile applied to the berlin regional court to impose an administrative fine on two officers of the state criminal police office (lka). The criminal commissioners l. And o. Had in april 2019 as witnesses to the committee information in principle and completely denied. Before the attack, they had been involved with the amri danger in the lka state security service, and after the attack they had manipulated the amri file by weakening their findings and adding them to the documents under an old date. The committee did not want to give any information about the amount of the fine. As committee chairman stephan lenz (cdu) explained to the press, it was not a matter of, "threatened with a huge fine, but for a symbolic value". They wanted the question to be clarified in principle.
The refusal to provide information by l. And o., the committee did not want to give any information about the amount of the fine, as those who had the most intensive dealings with amri and who also had to know his contacts are also in the interest of the federal government, which is trying to portray amri as a lone perpetrator. The question now, however, is who in the berlin lka and the bka actually had anything to do with amri’s friend bilel ben ammar and whether the federal office for interception protection (bfv), as in the amri case, also kept its own file on ben ammar.
Gapless clarification promised
The meeting organized at the same time by federal interior minister horst seehofer (csu) and berlin interior senator andreas geisel (spd) with victims and those affected by the attack, who are becoming increasingly suspicious in view of the countless contradictions in the amri complex, must be seen against this background. At the end of august, the two interior politicians met with more than 20 injured and bereaved people, seehofer already for the repeated time. According to information from participants of the meeting both promised "complete clarification" and "total transparency". Seehofer had declared that he had "full confidence in the investigative committee" of the bundestag. Geisel is said to have said the same thing about the berlin committee.
Lip service, which contradicts the actual handling of the government executive with the parliamentary u-committees. And if more than two and a half years after the crime, democratic self-promises have to be made again, the shelf life of such promises cannot be very long.
Alleged accomplice bilel ben ammar may not be questioned as a witness by members of parliament
Just in time for the first session of the investigative committee in the german bundestag in mid-september, the federal prosecutor’s office and the federal government announced via the media that the alleged accomplice bilel ben ammar could not be questioned as a witness by the members of parliament. There was no legal basis for this.
The possible message of this launched information: the investigative committee will remain unsuccessful, its work is in vain.
Ben ammar, although a suspect, was arrested by order of the federal government on 1 january 2009. He was deported in february 2017 and is currently being held in a tunisian prison. Strictly speaking, the question is not whether he was a witness, but whether he was an accomplice, and he had to be brought back to germany for investigation.
Ben ammar disappeared from the screen for ten days after the attack. On 3. He was then arrested on january 4, 2017. January even ied an arrest warrant. The decision to deport him and thus release him from the murder proceedings must already have been taken during this time. This was now proven by the testimony of the witness steffi o., who sits for the federal office for migration and refugees (bamf) in the joint terrorism defense center (gtaz), where the security authorities of the federal states and the federal government exchange information about violent foreigners and islamists.
On 30. December 2016, the bka had said at a meeting, according to the witness, that the evidence that ben ammar was "complicit or complicit" could not be led, his detention was not possible. "Amazing" irene mihalic (bundnis 90/die grunen), a member of the bundestag, found this statement particularly interesting in light of the fact that ben ammar had been in hiding for ten days and that no interrogation had taken place with him at all. This did not happen until 4. January 2017. How could the bka know that nothing could be proven against him??
Still on the 13. January 2017, the federal public prosecutor’s office (baw), which had extended the murder proceedings to include ben ammar, argued that there were "there was sufficient factual evidence that he was privy to the attack plans and was at least involved in assisting them" had been. Only due to the influence of the federal ministry of justice on the same day, the karlsruhe authorities initiated a deportation order. This is part of the whole truth in the light of the baw’s recent letter that there were "no reasonable suspicion given against ben ammar", as it spreads the ard.
Other acquaintances of amri were also deported
But not only ben ammar was removed from the country, numerous contacts of amri were subjected to the same procedure. So on 22. February 2017 khaled a., tunisian, drug dealer and amri’s roommate.
The situation was more complicated in the case of mohammed ali d. And karim h. (also abdelmontasser h.), with whom amri had also been living together and with whom he was also running drug deals together. They too tunisian. Karim/abdelmontasser h. For example, is also said to have been a subject of discussion at the gtaz. Because all three were involved in a stabbing in july 2016, criminal proceedings were underway against karim/abdelmontasser h. Already facing criminal proceedings since 2016, on 6. An arrest warrant was ied in february 2017, and he was sentenced in may 2017. Mohammed ali d. Was heard on 3. March 2017 arrested and sentenced in june 2017. At this time, parliamentary committees of inquiry into the breitscheidplatz complex began to take shape. The two detainees and ex-amri accomplices were witnesses and were then also questioned by mps. In the meantime both have been deported.
Federal chancellery was involved
This is what the german government wanted to pursue in early 2017 before the rule of law got in its way. In february 2017, the german government was in negotiations with tunisia because it wanted to get rid of these contacts of amri’s. This led up to the highest political level in the chancellor’s office and to angela merkel.
Thus wrote the government official in the bamf, the witness steffi o., on 14. February 2017 an email to the bka and requested information on karim/abdelmontasser h., because "the chancellor today held talks with representatives of tunisia" which, among other things, are concerned with its "obligation to leave the country" should go. Also mohammed ali d. Stood on this "deportation list", as the delegate benjamin strasser (fdp) put it. All in all, according to the bamf witness o., about five to six persons.
Responsible for the operational business that "suddenly all buddies of amri should be deported after the attack" (original sound of strasser), was, as the mp found out, the state secretary in the federal ministry of the interior (bmi) emily haber. She must also have been in contact with the chancellor.
Various formulations in emails available to the committee indicate that the bmi representative also had personal dealings with the joint counter-terrorism center (gtaz). ("is discussed in the ag status with state secretary mrs. Dr. Haber erortert. Therefore it hurries very!") possibly the secretary of state did not go to the gtaz, but preferred to appear in the ministry. In any case, the question arises whether there was direct political influence on security authorities.
Also the deportation of the accused ben ammar had haber, together with colleagues from the federal ministry of justice, operated. Today she is the ambassador of the frg in the usa and is to be heard as a witness in the committee in october.