The Latest: Police: Berlin market attacker recruited nephew

Tunisia's Interior Ministry says police have arrested nephew of Berlin Christmas market attacker and two others

Armed police officers stand behind concrete blocks for protection near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, after Anis Amri, the suspect of the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin was shot in Milan, Italy. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

MILAN (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the deadly truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

Tunisia’s Interior Ministry says police have arrested the nephew of Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri and two others — and says all three men are suspected of belonging to a terrorist cell and had contacts with Amri.

The ministry says the nephew, 18-year-old Fedi, told police he was in contact with Amri via Telegram’s encrypted communications to avoid detection. He told police that Amri had recruited him to jihad and asked him to pledge allegiance to IS. The nephew recorded such a pledge and sent it to Amri via Telegram.

He told police that Amri, using an alias, had sent his nephew money through the post office to join Amri in Germany to help him and join the Abou Walaa network. Amri told his nephew that he was the “emir” of the network.

The Tunisian prosecutor’s office has ordered all three men held in pre-trial detention pending further investigation.


1:40 p.m.

Tunisia’s Interior Ministry says police have arrested Anis Amri’s nephew and two others suspected of belonging to the same extremist network.

The ministry says in a statement that Amri — suspected of driving a truck into a Christmas market crowd in Berlin, killing 12 — had sent his 18-year-old nephew Fedi money to join him in Europe.

It is unclear whether the suspects helped Amri flee Berlin.

The nephew was arrested in Amri’s hometown of Oueslatia while the others were arrested in Tunis. The arrests occurred Saturday.


1:15 p.m.

Spain’s Interior Minister says police are investigating whether the Tunisian man who allegedly killed 12 people and injured scores more by driving a truck into a crowd in Berlin was in contact with another possible extremist in Spain.

Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido tells Spanish radio station Cope that Spanish police are looking into a tip passed on by German authorities that Anis Amri had developed a contact in Spain.

Zoido says “we are studying all possible connections (between Amri) and our country, above all with one specific person.”

On Monday, Amri’s fingerprints and wallet were found in a truck that plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 56 others. After fleeing from Germany and through France, he was shot dead by Italian police in Milan on Friday.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack.


1 p.m.

A casket containing the body of the Italian victim of the truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin has arrived in Rome.

The body of Fabrizia di Lorenzo, 31, arrived at Rome’s Ciampino airport at midday, five days after she was killed with 11 others when an attacker drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market in the heart of Berlin. Italian President Sergio Mattarella was on hand for the arrival.

Di Lorenzo had been living in Berlin and went to the Christmas market to buy presents to celebrate the holiday with family in her hometown of Sulmona, in central Italy.

The Tunisian fugitive wanted in the deadly attack was killed in a shootout early Friday in a Milan suburb.

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