Political pressure on amri investigator?

Political prere on amri investigator?

In the Bundestag inquiry committee on the Breitscheidplatz attack, prosecutors are unable to make their contradictory actions plausible

6. June 2019, German Bundestag, investigative committee on the Breitscheidplatz attack in Berlin: the session has already been going on for six or seven hours when MP Irene Mihalic (Bundnis 90/Die Grunen) asks a question that is likely to raise a completely new tower: "Has any political prere been exerted on you or approached you and your agency from any side?" The witness to whom the question applies is a senior public prosecutor from Berlin. She can only speak for herself, she says: "No one approached me."

Somewhat later, however, she also explains that "Member of a hierarchical authority" had been "Chief" at the top, who makes decisions. This "Chief", that was the attorney general of Berlin, quite a political office. Sometimes the prere doesn’t come from outside, but from inside.

Specifically, it was about the deportation of the suspected Amri accomplice Bilel Ben Ammar. But the question whether in the Amri complex perhaps influence was made or even still is, hovered in principle the whole time uber der Ausschussssitzung. Because what the three witnesses of that day presented, a senior prosecutor, a senior public prosecutor and a federal prosecutor, contained such gross contradictions that it was obvious to suspect an unknown background, which will be hidden even in June 2019.

The Tunisian Anis Amri, according to official investigations the sole assassin of the 19. December 2016 with twelve dead, and Bilel Ben Ammar, together with a few dozen other people, belonged to a militant Islamist spectrum. They financed their existence and possible projects at the same time with criminal business. Because the security agencies claim to have had serious indications of plans for attacks, the persons were observed, processed, subjected to measures and prosecuted for years. Almost the complete set of instruments was used: telephone surveillance, residential surveillance, observations, use of the tracking system IMSI-Catcher, use of human sources and V-persons, use of totally monitored conspiratorial apartments, apartment searches and raids, initiation of criminal proceedings, deportations – the whole cutlery.

Now the mega-contradiction is this: Although real threats were seen and all means were used, all suspicions of possible acts of violence are said to have disintegrated and not been substantiated. Proceedings were dropped again, suspects remained at large, and surveillance measures were terminated. Nothing.

But then the event, which had been expected at the beginning, but then discarded, actually occurs. It comes to the grossest terrorist attack in the history of the Federal Republic in 36 years, since the bomb at the Oktoberfest in Munich in September 1980.

And then the next turnaround: So after the attack was real, those responsible in the security apparatus change their behavior again. They let escape Bilel Ben Ammar, one of the persons who had been suspected of terrorism years ago and who is now considered to be an accomplice of the attack. He is deported to Tunisia out of an ongoing investigation, despite an arrest warrant and a prepared indictment for another crime. What is going on here??

These contradictions cannot be plausibly explained by investigators, prosecutors, or those politically responsible. Not for two and a half years. The explanations they offer are not conclusive, but seem strained and arbitrary. That they nevertheless defend them as vigorously as they do without substance, as the three prosecutors did in the last committee meeting, only makes the matter more suspicious.

Investigations by security authorities into the radical Islamist scene

In concrete terms, the security authorities’ approach to the radical Islamist scene was as follows: In October 2015, for example, a preliminary investigation was opened against three suspected Tunisians. They came from the same place as the alleged late assassin of Breitscheidplatz, Anis Amri. Because they were in Berlin, the proceedings were named "Ice bar". The main suspect was Sabou Saidani, remarkably a former elite police officer from Tunisia, a member of an anti-terrorist unit. The other two beat Sabri Ben H. and Ahmad J. The investigators claim to have had concrete indications that they were planning an attack in Berlin. Smuggling of people into the combat zone of the Islamic State (IS) was also actually carried out.

In the environment of the group, but perhaps also in it, the BKA had placed at least two human sources. In addition, information came from foreign intelligence services, as the senior public prosecutor in charge of the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to the Bundestag investigative committee. He would only give details of this in non-official session. However, the committee then did not make such a claim.

At the same time, the Berlin State Criminal Police Office (LKA) was investigating people associated with the group. One of them was in turn an informer from the Berlin State Office for Interception (LfV). Neither the LKA nor the Federal Prosecutor’s Office (BAW) claims to have known anything about it.

Finally, on 8. December 2015, it came to the access, apartments were searched, the defendants arrested. The result was negative: no findings, the accusations had not been confirmed, the suspicion had not been raised.

The BAW prosecutor is convinced that the defendants did not tell the truth in the interrogations, but he could not refute them. One of the three, Ahmad J., said to his interrogators the sentence: "Hire me, give me money, and I’ll work for you!"

Was this a serious self-offering to cooperate? Did the defendant know that the authorities were working with informers and saw this as a chance to avoid a trial?? And was that an original part of the "Relationship" between Islamists and law enforcement officials?

Also strange: the main suspect, Saidani, was deported even though there was a warrant for his arrest. A parallel to the Ben Ammar case. But in contrast to the discontinued Ben Ammar proceedings, the "Ice bar"-Procedure currently still.

The Amri friend Bilel Ben Ammar stood with the Saidani-"Eisbar"-Group in close connection. However, he was not listed as a defendant. He was considered by the BKA to be "News agency", his phone was tapped for about three weeks, then the taping was stopped again. According to Simon Henrichs, the senior public prosecutor at the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in charge of the proceedings, nothing incriminating has come out of this.

However, there was a parallel investigation against Ben Ammar, initiated in November 2015, charged with planning a serious act of violence posing a threat to the state, i.e., on suspicion of terrorism. In contrast to the "Ice bar"-procedure, however, not by BAW and BKA, but by LKA Berlin and General Prosecutor’s Office Berlin. Chief Public Prosecutor Eva-Maria Tombrink said Ben Ammar was "Close to IS and quite dangerous" been. According to senior prosecutor Henrichs, however, the findings against Ben Ammar were not sufficient for proceedings by the federal prosecutor’s office. Today it is known that the suspect was also a member of the Libyan terrorist organization Ansar al-Sharia.

At the end of November 2015, investigators received a tip-off about a "Transport" With an explosive delivery. Searches were carried out without delay in a mosque, vehicles, an apartment and a room in a refugee home. They proved to be a failure, only dates and drugstore items were found. According to the terrorist investigators, the suspicion of terrorism has not been confirmed.

Should all previous findings about Ben Ammar have been wrong at the same time?? Were the investigators unprofessional – or were they led on?? Did the suspects want to test whether they were under surveillance and how far they could go?? Or were there other reasons for the failure of the action??

Should it perhaps fail? Before the investigative committee in the Berlin House of Representatives, an LKA official said that the operation had not failed at all, that it had finally provided clarity. In any case: the case against Ben Ammar was dropped, he could continue to move freely. What remained was a small case for, among other things, social benefit fraud, Ben Ammar freely admitted to that. The procedure should still play a role after the attack.

Glitches or intent?

Amri also paid to this scene, with Ben Ammar he communicated personally. At the beginning of December 2015, Ben Ammar, despite the "Failure" A few days before, visited by the LKA Berlin, when Amri was just staying with him. It came to a brief arrest and questioning. That was on 6. December 2015, two days before the Saidani was seized-"Ice Bar"-Group.

Until now, it was not clear why the LKA had openly contacted Ben Ammar and Amri. What one knows from the testimony of an LKA official before the Berlin committee is that for this contacting he had a "Special mission" who came directly from the State Security Service. With this action, the LKA burst into the middle of the just begun interceptions against Ben Ammar and his function as president "News agency" in the "Ice bar"-Group. The was thus destroyed and rendered worthless.

The visit also had the effect of a warning. Ben Ammar, Amri and their entourage now knew that the police were continuing their investigation. The searches of Saidani and his two accomplices, scheduled for two days later, were thus torpedoed. The fact that they were also unsuccessful is therefore not surprising. And again the question arises: Was it a stumpy mishap of the police, as it was done by the beginners – or was there a certain intention connected with this procedure?? Should the unsuccessfulness be the result?

Another short-lived arrest and interrogation of Amri was to be repeated in Berlin in February 2016. To this day, it is unclear whether Ben Ammar was also involved in this campaign. The LKA denies this, but in the files there is mention of a "Mr. Bilel" the speech.

What is striking about these scenarios is the sheer density of government informants in this scene. And then that law enforcement repeatedly did things to counter their own measures.

This includes the deportation of Bilel Ben Ammar after the attack, which has been causing unrest for weeks, even among victims. The question is whether the Amri friend was an accomplice, a supporter or even an accomplice.

The investigation because of the attack on the Breitscheidplatz, i.e. because of multiple murder, was also extended to Ben Ammar. At first he was missing for ten days. On 3. January 2017 his apartment was searched. The prosecutor’s office ordered his preliminary arrest and requested an arrest warrant because it saw a reason to flee. The attack case was merged with the social fraud case, and the earlier terror case no longer played a role. On 4. January 2017, the Tiergarten District Court ied an arrest warrant, also justified it with the attack and shared the concerns of risk of flight.

On 13. On January 1, 2017, Federal Prosecutor Thomas Beck, head of the Terrorism Division in the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, turned to the Federal Ministry of Justice, to which the Karlsruhe office is subordinate, and stated that there were "there is sufficient factual evidence that Ben Ammar was privy to the plans for the attack and at least aided and abetted it" had been. On the same day, the same federal prosecutor then reached an agreement with the Attorney General of Berlin for the deportation of Ben Ammar.

Irene Mihalic, who presented these facts at the committee meeting, said: "This is in stark contrast to everything we have heard so far." Senior Public Prosecutor Eva-Maria Tombrink, who was responsible for Ben Ammar in the Berlin General Prosecutor’s Office, counters that the formulation "Sufficient evidence" was the "lowest level of suspicion", Warrant of arrest only existed in the case of "urgent suspicion". A few days earlier, she herself had applied for and received an arrest warrant. The indictment against Ben Ammar for social benefit fraud was ready in her drawer.

This does not convince MP Benjamin Strasser (FDP) either: "Where was the crux for the ultimately different decision?? What happened in these days?", he asks. A question that corresponds with that of his colleague about possible political influence. The chief public prosecutor answers: "On the one hand, time has moved on", Moreover, when an arrest warrant is requested, the standards are always stricter.

On 30. January 2017, an arrest warrant was ied. Now, there is no evidence that Ben Ammar was involved in the Breitscheidplatz attack. At that time, the evidence had not yet been evaluated, the investigation was still in full swing. The public prosecutor’s office closed the investigation because of social fraud. On 1. February 2017 Ben Ammar was flown to Tunisia. There he is said to be in a high-security prison. The murder trial against him for the attack continued until October 2017.

In Attorney General Tombrink’s jurisdiction, no one has been deported as quickly as Ben Ammar in six weeks in the last five years since 2014. Likewise, there is no other known case of deportation being accompanied by such busy political travel diplomacy as in this case. A state secretary of the Federal Ministry of the Interior flew specially to Tunisia.

Who was the fourth culprit?

In the Islamist and drug scene in which Amri moved, he was surrounded by numerous informers from various security agencies. The number is in double figures. Several had a personal contact with him. In the meeting of the Bundestag committee, a hint has now emerged that there could have been another V-person who was in direct contact with Amri.

Amri was involved in a stabbing in Berlin in July 2016 that was criminally classified as a "common serious bodily injury", if not as "attempted killing" zu bewerten war und zwingend einen Haftbefehl nach sich hatte ziehen mussen. However, the Berlin General Prosecutor’s Office refused to do so. Chief Public Prosecutor Tombrink was not involved in this, but her boss, Behordenvize Dirk Feuerberg. He must appear before the committee at the end of June.

At the crime four men attacked three other men. Amri war einer der Angreifer. Two of his accomplices were later convicted after the attack and have since been deported. The fact that there was a fourth attacker was initially denied by the public prosecutor’s office, but in the meantime it has been admitted. Allegedly he could not be identified. The Grunen in the investigation committee have now stumbled upon a document that calls this into question. A note from the BKA from July 2017 is said to indicate that the person Hadez A. was connected with the crime of July 2016 and the perpetrators of the crime.

If he was indeed the fourth attacker, a number of questions arise: Why did the authorities try for a long time to conceal the fact that there was a fourth perpetrator?? Why is it, after this had to be admitted in the meantime, that until today attempts are made to keep his identity secret?? This makes sense, for example, if this person is in a relationship of trust with an authority. Was the fourth attacker, possibly Hadez A., i.e. a confidential informant? This means that the security authorities in Berlin had a source directly on the side of the later suspected assassin.

And this, in turn, would explain the contradictory behavior of some of the officials.

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