Released Pakistani suspect for the Berlin truck attack is missing in Germany

Naveed Baloch is the Pakistani asylum seeker who was detained in Berlin for his suspected involvement in a deadly assault in which 12 people died early this week, and who was said to have been released late on Tuesday for lack of evidence against him – has neither contacted his family nor reached the refugee shelter in the German capital where he was living.

Naveed’s father Hassan Baloch told Dawn on Wednesday that his son had gone missing.

He said he had not been contacted by Naveed even though media reports said his son had been set free by the Berlin police on Tuesday night.

When contacted, a Baloch activist in Berlin, Wajid Baloch, confirmed that Naveed had yet to reach the refugee shelter where he was living prior to his detention.

His mobile phone had been switched off, Wajid said.

He said he was in contact with the head of the refugee shelter.

Hassan said his son used to work on a daily wage basis in the local fishing industry. “Out of frustration and fed up with unemployment, my son went to Germany 17 months ago,” he said.

Hassan lives in Kech district of Balochistan.

German police launched a manhunt on Wednesday for a rejected asylum seeker suspected of involvement in the deadly truck assault claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group, AFP reported from Berlin.

Officials said that asylum office papers believed to belong to the Tunisian man with alleged links to the radical Islamists were found in the cab of the 40-tonne lorry used in the attack that killed 12 people.

“There is a new suspect we are searching for – he is a suspect but not necessarily the assailant,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters, saying a Europe-wide search was under way. He declined to give further details.

But his regional counterpart in North Rhine-Westphalia state, Ralf Jaeger, said the man identified as Anis A. or Ahmed A. by media had already been under investigation for planning an attack.

Counterterrorism officials had exchanged information about him, most recently in November, and a probe had been launched suspecting he was preparing “a serious act of violence against the state”, Jaeger said.

The suspect came to Germany in July 2015 but his application for asylum was rejected this June.

His deportation, however, got caught up in red tape with Tunisia, which long denied he was a citizen. The required documents only arrived on Wednesday, two days after the Berlin attack, said Jaeger.

One conservative lawmaker, Stephan Meyer, said the suspect was being watched by police.

“We are apparently talking about a potentially dangerous suspect who was known to authorities and belonged to the Salafist-Islamist scene,” he told reporters after a meeting of parliament’s interior affairs committee.

A previous suspect, a 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker – was released late on Tuesday for lack of evidence, prompting fears of a killer on the loose and further rattling nerves in a shocked country.

Source: /Dawn