Germany’s immigration authority committed no errors when it allowed Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri to seek asylum, even though it knew about his multiple aliases and criminal background, says the agency’s head.
Amri received permission to stay in Germany while his asylum request was pending from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in April.
“Granting such permission does not imply a positive assessment,” Jutta Cordt, new head of the BAMF, told the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper’s Wednesday edition. “The permission guarantees him residency while his asylum request is being processed.”
She noted that the office “rejected the asylum request within four weeks as obviously unfounded.”
German officials have come under fire since December as it has emerged that Amri – who spent a long stretch in an Italian prison after leaving his native Tunisia for Europe – was even allowed into the country.
He arrived in Germany in July 2015 and was known to have 14 aliases. He had at least two residences during his time in Germany, is believed to have worked as a drug dealer and came under investigation for links to terrorist groups.
On December 19, he commandeered a truck from a Polish driver and rammed it into a crowded Berlin Christmas market, killing 12.
Cordt noted that all of his aliases were noted when the asylum request was rejected.