German regional spy chief fired over Christmas attack probe

BERLIN (AP) — The domestic intelligence chief in Germany’s northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has been fired over his agency’s failure to pass on information about a 2016 truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people.

German news agency dpa reported that Reinhard Mueller was removed from his post Wednesday.

Mueller had told lawmakers that his agency did not immediately transmit information about possible supporters of Islamist attacker Anis Amri to investigators who were probing the attack.

An informant reported in 2017 he had heard that a Berlin crime family helped Amri flee the capital after he drove a stolen truck into the crowded Christmas market.

This information was only passed on to investigators two years later, after the informant’s handler reached out directly to federal authorities.

Twelve people were killed and dozens more were injured in the attack, which was later claimed by the Islamic State group. Amri was killed in a shootout with Italian police.

Officials have pinpointed numerous failings by German security agencies in the case, including that police may have missed an opportunity to arrest Amri months before the attack.

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