Total errors of possible terrorist attack in 2016 | free press


Berlin (dpa) – The Islamist terrorist attack on the Berlin Christmas market in 2016 was only made possible by numerous errors by various security authorities in Berlin and the federal government.

This is the conclusion of the inquiry committee of the Berlin House of Representatives in its final report that was presented on Monday.

Chairman Stephan Lenz (CDU) said “no single culprit” had been found and “no individual errors” identified that would have led directly to the attack. However, many errors were found, especially by the Criminal Investigation Department and the Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution. “And it’s the sum of these errors and omissions that made the attack possible.”

The decisive factor was the error of judgment of the rejected asylum seeker Anis Amri from Tunisia in the summer of 2016. He was already known as a violent and possibly very dangerous Islamist. From the summer, Amri was no longer closely monitored and tapped because the National Criminal Investigation Department (LKA) no longer classified his case as explosive.

In 4 years and 64 meetings, the Commission of Inquiry questioned 97 witnesses, including numerous LKA detectives, constitutional security officers, prosecutors and politicians. The 1235 page report also contains separate opinions from different political groups. An investigative committee of the Bundestag also analyzed the role of the Federal Criminal Investigation Service (BKA) and found striking errors of judgment on the part of the killer. Amri carried out the terrorist attack with a truck on December 19, 2016, which killed 12 people.


– The LKA’s extremism and Islamism departments were understaffed. Even after the terrorist attacks in Paris, it could only be increased slowly.

– The exchange between the Immigration Services, the Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia State Criminal Investigation Offices, the Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office was inadequate. There was a lack of ‘consistent risk management’ and a consolidation of the investigations into suspects at the Public Prosecution Service. A takeover of the Amri observation case by the BKA would also have yielded great benefits.

– Amri should have been observed more closely and also at night and on weekends. His tapped phone calls and chats were not evaluated thoroughly enough. In addition, the LKA’s state security department refocused in the summer of 2016 on observing the far-left scene. The Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution was also too passive.

CONCLUSIONS and IMPROVEMENTS after the attack:

– The Berlin police has received significantly more staff in recent years. According to the information, 587 new posts have been created in the LKA alone, many of them in the State Security Department, which is responsible for left-wing extremism, right-wing extremism and Islamism. In 2020, a separate section 8 for Islamism and Islamist terrorism was established in the LKA. According to the information, there are 166 jobs, twice as many as for 2016. A new counter-terror center is to be launched in 2022/2023.

– The police received new vehicles, weapons, protective clothing and tablets for more than 60 million euros. The ICT department of the police was also expanded.

– The work processes in the LKA, for example during the observations, have been revised. The classification and monitoring of Islamist threats was also redesigned by the BKA at the federal level. The public prosecutor’s offices are also more involved than before in the so-called hazard management. In late 2020, the Senate approved a counter-terror plan.

– The Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution already got its own section on Islamism in 2017, in which a more person-oriented approach is advocated. Information exchange with the LKA must be much closer.

– A new concept for victim care with a checklist has been developed.