Anis Amri—the Islamic terrorist and illegal immigrant who drove a truck into a crowd of shoppers in Germany shortly before Christmas and who four days later was shot dead by police in Italy—is the perfect symbol of the crisis that has engulfed the European liberal elite.
Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian, had been in Europe illegally for five years—first in Italy, then in Germany—when he hijacked that truck in Berlin on December 19 and used it to slaughter 12 people and injure dozens more. He then left Berlin and traveled by train, via France and possibly Switzerland, to Milan in Italy. No one noticed.
That all this was possible demonstrates the grotesque failure by the 28 member nations of the European Union to deal with the migrant invasion of Europe which began with the so-called Arab Spring in 2011 and which now threatens Europe’s very existence.
Anis Amri was among the migrant flood to enter Germany in 2015 thanks to Angela Merkel. Like any other migrant with half a brain and Arab blood, Amri pretended to be Syrian.
That this Tunisian was even in Europe is bad enough.
That he was able—once he had slaughtered those Berlin Christmas shoppers—to leave Germany with such ease and then travel by train to Milan—thereby crossing at least two national frontiers—just beggars belief.
The only reason Amri was caught was that by chance outside a suburban train station on the outskirts of Milan at around 3am, two police officers in a patrol car saw him walking down the street and decided to stop and carry out a routine check.
He opened fire—shouting “Allahu Akbar” according to some press reports—wounding one of the officers. The other officer fired back and killed him.
Those two officers had no idea who he was even after they had killed him, since he had no identity documents on him—only used train tickets. They identified him the following day by means of his fingerprints, which matched those found in the Berlin truck. Amri was found to have more than €1,000 in small bills on him, which suggests he may have had backers.
Even though Amri had no right to be in Europe, he had been here since 2011 when during the Arab Spring he arrived on a migrant boat from Libya on the tiny Italian Island of Lampedusa in the Sicilian Channel.
He claimed falsely not just to be a refugee but a child refugee. He was not even an economic migrant but a fugitive from justice. He had come to Italy to escape a hefty jail sentence in Tunisia for a string of non-political violent crimes.
He and other migrants then set fire to the government-run hostel in Sicily where they were housed, and he was jailed for four years. In 2015, on his release from prison, he was somehow able to remain in Italy until moving on to Germany where he was likewise somehow able to remain.
In both Italy and Germany his phony applications for refugee status—first as a Tunisian child refugee then as a Syrian refugee—were turned down. Yet he had been able to remain regardless.
And at some point while in Italy, he got God: the 72-virgins version of God.
Amri was just one of the hundreds of thousands of migrants masquerading as refugees who have arrived in the EU by sea across the Mediterranean during the last five years from Africa and the Middle East—mainly from Libya to Italy, or else from Turkey to Greece.
They, like him, have absolutely no legal, let alone moral, right to be in the EU.
Few come from war zones such as Syria and most are economic migrants in search of the promised land. Nearly all those who arrive by sea in Italy from Libya, for example, are from sub-Saharan Africa—a total of more than 500,000 since the start of 2014.
In 2016, a record 180,000 migrants arrived in Italy by sea. Packed into unseaworthy open boats, all knew that once they were outside Libyan waters they would be picked up by naval vessels from EU countries whose mission for a couple of years now—agreed by the governments of the EU countries—is to ferry them to Italy and hence into the EU.
Such a policy is madness. We might as well provide a regular charter flight service. It would be a lot cheaper.
And—as everyone knows—this policy is based on a lie: We are ferrying these migrants into the EU—so the argument goes—to save their lives and to send back all except genuine refugees. That means, certainly in the case of those arriving in Italy, if not those in Greece, the overwhelming majority. But hardly any of them—as everyone also knows—ever do get sent back.
In 2015, Italy’s courts issued only 34,107 expulsion orders. Such bits of paper are meaningless: In 2015, only about 7,000 migrants who had been issued with expulsion orders actually left Italy. So that is 160,000 arrivals in 2015 and 7,000 departures.
Let’s not forget another thing: That 160,000 arrivals figure refers only to documented migrant arrivals by sea to Italy. No one has any clue how many more undocumented arrivals there were by sea, air, or road, in 2015, or in any other year.
Once ferried to Italy by the EU’s free ferry service, migrants are not arrested since they are treated as “refugees” until their status is verified. They are housed in government-funded “welcome centers” from which they are free to come and go.
But how can you verify the identity and nationality of someone who either has no documents, or keeps them hidden, or uses false documents? Amri used six different identities, according to German police, and three different nationalities.
Only half, if that, of the migrants who arrive in Italy by sea even bother to claim refugee status. The rest? Well, they just disappear from those “welcome centers” and many head north, as Amri did, to countries such as Germany or Britain, where there is more work and more welfare.
The Italians, who are a pretty tolerant bunch, are getting angrier and angrier. Just like the Germans and people in so many other countries in Europe.
As Vittorio Feltri, editor of Libero—the Milan daily I write for—put it in his editorial published the day after the Berlin massacre: “What are we supposed to do except hate those who hate us? We are exhausted. We want to liberate ourselves from those who threaten us and exterminate us. Coraggio, mandiamo questa gente fuori dai coglioni (Courage, let’s get these people out of our testicles).”