Tunisian 'linked' to Berlin attack deported

Indo Asian News Service

Rome, March 13 (IANS/AKI) Italy has expelled a Tunisian accused of ties to Anis Amri, the Islamic State jihadist group supporter suspected of killing 12 people and injuring 50 with a truck at a Christmas market in Berlin.

The 37-year-old Tunisian was deported aboard a flight to Tunis from Rome's Fiumicino airport late on Sunday, Italy's Interior Ministry said.

The ministry said the man was expelled for "reasons of national security" after he was linked to Amri, a fellow Tunisian who allegedly drove the steel-laden truck into Berlin's central Breitscheidplatz market on December 19 last year.

The number of a mobile phone registered in the suspect's name was found among Amri's contacts and he was associated with a jihadist Facebook page used by IS supporters, according to investigators.

The suspect also had alleged links to radical Islamists in the Lazio town of Latina, near Aprilia, where Amri stayed with a former Tunisian jailmate and the man's Italian girlfriend in June 2015 after he spent for years in prison in Sicily for violent behaviour.

Amri was shot dead by police in the Milan suburb of Sesto San Giovanni in northern Italy on 23 December when he allegedly opened fire on a police officer and wounded him during a routine security check.

The latest expulsion of a terrorism suspect is the 21st this year and the 153rd since January 2015, the ministry stated.