MILAN – Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said Thursday that there are no indications that the Tunisian fugitive from the Berlin Christmas market attack, who was shot dead near Milan, had any particular contacts in Italy.
Italian investigators are trying to determine whether Anis Amri was tapping a jihadi network in Italy, his port of entry in early 2011 during Arab Spring, and the end of his nearly four-day flight following the truck attack on a Berlin holiday market that left 12 dead.
"No particular networks have emerged in Italy," Gentiloni told reporters at a year-end press conference in Rome, ahead of a security meeting in Milan headed by his interior minister.
Amri died of a single gunshot wound last Friday after shooting an officer in the shoulder during a routine police stop in the working class Milan suburb of Sesto San Giovanni. He was earlier spotted alone outside a deserted train station in the early morning hours.
He had crossed the border from France by train hours earlier, getting off in the Italian border town of Bardonecchia, then taking a regional train to Turin and another to Milan.
Gentiloni credited good police work for ending Amri's flight, but said the government would look at further strengthening anti-terrorism measures. That would include steps "to make more efficient the repatriation mechanisms from the migrant centers," he said.
Amri told authorities after his arrival in 2011 that he was a minor, winning him the right to stay, but he quickly landed in jail after setting fire to a migrant center. Attempts by Italy to deport him after his release failed for bureaucratic reasons.
Gentiloni noted that Amri was radicalized while he was in Italy.
"We know that in most cases, the radicalization happens in our prisons, in our neighborhoods," Gentiloni said.
Italy's top anti-terrorism prosecutor, Franco Roberti, told La Repubblica that Amri "found the convictions of his radicalization path" in prison, "in desperation, isolation and marginalization."