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Berlin market attacker 'pledged allegiance to Islamic State'

Amri's family said the suspect in the market attack had been radicalised in prison [YouTube]

Date of publication: 24 December, 2016

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The main suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack was shown pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video released on Friday.
The main suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack was shown pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group [IS] in a video released on Friday.

The video, released by IS-linked agency Amaq, showed Tunisian Anis Amri, who was killed when he opened fire on Italian police on Friday, pledging allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"I vow to obey the caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in whatever he orders me to do even if it is to my disliking," Amri said.

The two-minute, 42-second video showed Amri speaking directly to a camera while standing outdoors wearing a winter coat and earphones.

It was unclear when the video was filmed. It appeared to have been shot in Berlin.

As well as his pledge of allegiance, Amri declared his desire to avenge Muslims killed in air raids and called for attacks against "Crusaders".

"To the infidels, who bomb Muslims every day: I swear we will hunt you and slaughter you like pigs," the 23-year-old said.

Amaq had earlier said the man shot dead by Italian police near Milan on Friday carried out the Berlin attack.

In an interview with Sky News Arabia, Amri's family said that the suspect in the market attack had been radicalised while in prison in Italy.

"When he left Tunisia he was a normal person. He drank alcohol and didn't even pray. He had no religious beliefs," Amri's brother said.

"My dad, my brother and I all used to pray and he didn't, maybe he got into this when he was in prison where he met Algerians, Egyptians and Syrians.

"He went into prison with a mentality and when he came out he had a totally different mentality."

Amri had served jail time in Sicily for setting fire to a building.

He had arrived in Italy in February 2011, probably after being rescued at sea from a migrant boat.

He entered Germany in July 2015, but his application for asylum was rejected in June this year.

His deportation, however, got caught up in red tape with Tunisia, which had denied he was a citizen for several months.

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