The manhunt for Anis Amri, the suspected terrorist who the German authorities say is the most likely suspect for the terrorist attack on the Berlin Christmas market, has ended, with the Italian and German authorities confirming that he was shot dead by Italian police earlier today in Milan.
According to the Italian authorities, when police stopped Anis Amri in Milan, he drew out a gun and was immediately shot dead.
The death of Anis Amri ends the possibility of his undertaking any further terrorist incidents whilst still on the run. It also ends the possibility of his being caught alive, and questioned, and eventually of being charged and put on trial.
Jihadi terrorists who carry out terrorist attacks in Europe are however almost invariably killed or kill themselves rather than be caught. There is nothing therefore unusual or surprising about Anis Amri’s death, and nothing should be read into it. As for whether he really was the person who carried out the Berlin terror attack, the case against him seems to be overwhelming. However his death does mean that it will now be more difficult to find out whether Anis Amri acted on his own or whether he acted under orders as a member of a terrorist cell. Unfortunately at the moment the latter looks more likely.
What is far more concerning about Anis Amri is that an individual such as him, suspected of having Jihadist sympathies and as it turns out possibly a signed up ISIS militant, was able to move about Germany freely, and that the German police not only lost sight of him, but failed initially to identify him, and lost sight of him again directly after the terrorist attack.
In some countries that would lead to a judicial inquiry into what on the face of it was serious case of negligence. Given the political stakes in Germany, it will be interesting to see if that happens.