The 19th of December, 2016 was for Germany, a bit like 9/11 was for the USA. Before that date, they were mostly in an “It can’t happen here,” state of denial. Berlin Attack: “An Attack is Expected” | ZEIT ONLINE
Zeit produces long articles, and this no exception, but it is an interesting look at how the German federal system works – or in this case didn’t work.
The German authorities knew a lot about the Tunisian Anis Amri. Actually, almost everything. Nevertheless, shortly before Christmas he was able to commandeer a truck in Berlin and kill twelve people.
A total of 56 people were injured in that attack, and some of them are still in hospitals.
How the police in various states (Lands in the German parlance) knew about Amri, and yet didn’t manage to stop him, in the face of crimes committed, false statements made to authorities and more. He was identified as a threat, at least by one police department, and yet nothing was done.
As for that denial…
With the Berlin attack, a phase of relative comfort came to an end in the Federal Republic. While bombs exploded in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, and Belgium, and terrorists shot or ran down people down with trucks, Germany was until then spared major Islamist attacks.