[JURIST] German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maiziere [official profile], released a plan Tuesday to overhaul the country’s antiterror enforcement following the December lorry attack on a Berlin Christmas market [JURIST report]. Police have been seeking to improve antiterror enforcement since Anis Amri killed 12 people and exposed holes in the country’s security architecture. The overhaul was announced in an op-ed [FAZ] and aims to make it easier for police to monitor, detain and deport asylum seekers believed to pose a terror threat. Under the proposal, police could detain rejected asylum seekers for up to 18 months and suggests centralizing the country’s counterterrorism apparatus. Maiziere, who is a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said [Guardian report] recent terror attacks meant “we have to face the fact that our state has to be better prepared for difficult times than it is now.”
On December 19 a truck loaded with steel beams ran into a crowded Christmas Market in Berlin. Twelve people were killed in the attack, and dozens more were injured. Amri is suspected to have been the driver of the truck. Amri was recently shot to death in Milan. A routine document check with two police officers escalated into a deadly confrontation when Amri pulled a gun on the officers, one of whom was injured. The attack is reminiscent of an attack in Nice, France, that occurred earlier last year in July. At least 84 citizens were killed during Bastille Day celebrations as Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a truck through a crowd [JURIST report].