Europe

German prosecutors probed Berlin attack suspect for fraud

  • In this frame grab made available by the Italian police, Anis Amri, the main suspect in Berlin's deadly Christmas market attack walks through the train station on Dec. 22.  (Italian Police via AP)

    In this frame grab made available by the Italian police, Anis Amri, the main suspect in Berlin's deadly Christmas market attack walks through the train station on Dec. 22. (Italian Police via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -The photo issued by German federal police on  Dec. 21, 2016 shows 24-year-old Tunisian Anis Amri on a photo that was used on the documents found in the truck that plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin Dec. 19. Prosecutors in western Germany say Thursday Dec. 29, 2016  they opened a fraud investigation earlier this year against Anis Amri, the main suspect in last week's Berlin truck attack, suspecting that he simultaneously claimed benefits in two towns under different identities.  (German police via AP)

    FILE -The photo issued by German federal police on Dec. 21, 2016 shows 24-year-old Tunisian Anis Amri on a photo that was used on the documents found in the truck that plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin Dec. 19. Prosecutors in western Germany say Thursday Dec. 29, 2016 they opened a fraud investigation earlier this year against Anis Amri, the main suspect in last week's Berlin truck attack, suspecting that he simultaneously claimed benefits in two towns under different identities. (German police via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2016 file photo a police officer lights a candle in Berlin, Germany the day after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market nearby. German prosecutors say they've detained a Tunisian man they think may have been involved in last week's truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday Dec. 28, 2016  the 40-year-old was detained during a search of his home and business.   (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader,file)

    FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2016 file photo a police officer lights a candle in Berlin, Germany the day after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market nearby. German prosecutors say they've detained a Tunisian man they think may have been involved in last week's truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday Dec. 28, 2016 the 40-year-old was detained during a search of his home and business. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader,file)  (The Associated Press)

Prosecutors in western Germany say they opened a fraud investigation earlier this year against Anis Amri, the main suspect in last week's Berlin truck attack, suspecting that he simultaneously claimed benefits in two towns under different identities.

Detlef Nowotsch, a spokesman for prosecutors in Duisburg, said Thursday the investigation was opened in April but shelved in November because Amri's whereabouts were unknown. Amri was accused of receiving asylum-seeker benefits in both Emmerich and Oberhausen for a few days in late 2015.

Amri is believed to have driven the truck that plowed into a Christmas market Dec. 19, killing 12 people. His fingerprints and wallet were found in the truck.

The Tunisian arrived in Germany in July 2015. Authorities later put him on a list of potentially violent Islamic extremists.