Media are reporting that the terror suspect, Anis Amri, in the recent German truck attack was in and out of jail and had been under surveillance for several months before the attack. German intelligence services will no doubt face tough questions over their handling of the case because while they seem to have been aware that Amri was a security risk they were unable to figure out what exactly he may have been planning. Cases like this one demonstrate that while surveillance can help identify a possible security threat, good analysis is still of critical importance. Collecting all kinds of data only goes so far. It’s still too early to tell if German intelligence did fall short but it will be a difficult few months for them, to say nothing of the criticism Merkel will face. As one of the seemingly last outspoken liberal voices in the EU, Merkel has been facing a resurgent right-wing presence in the EU and even in Germany. This attack won’t make things easier for her given that media is reporting Amri was a Tunisian asylum seeker. The alt-right will no doubt paint all with the same brush and Merkel will likely find it harder to maintain a rational and sensible policy when it comes to refugees and migrants.

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