January 1. Four teenage migrants — three Afghans and one Iranian — assaulted more than a dozen passersby in Amberg. Twelve people between the ages of 13 and 42 were injured in the attacks; a 17-year-old was hospitalized for a head injury. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the four perpetrators cannot be deported for legal reasons:
"Anyone who indiscriminately beats uninvolved passersby shows that he is not seeking protection in our society. The drunken perpetrators can expect no understanding in our country, but only the full hardness of the rule of law. Currently, deportation is not legally possible in any case. We are working hard to change that."
January 2. Chief Prosecutor Claudia Vanoni, in an interview with Berliner Zeitung, said that anti-Semitic attacks are becoming commonplace in Berlin: "I have the impression that anti-Semitism is becoming louder, more open and aggressive." She blamed most of the anti-Semitic attacks on "right-wing offenders." When asked about anti-Semitism from Muslims, she said: "I hear more often in conversations with Jewish organizations that Jews view anti-Semitism among Muslims as an ever-greater problem in Germany. Statistically, one cannot prove that clearly." When asked if she was in contact with Muslim organizations, she replied: "Not yet."
January 3. A 22-year-old Libyan failed asylum seeker named Mohamed Youssef T. — who goes by the nickname "King Abode" ("Abode" as in "staying in Germany") — was allowed to return to Bautzen, a town in Saxony, after he was banned for three months due to an "unusual accumulation of punishable acts in a short period of time." The Libyan, who has become a "local celebrity," has a rap sheet of 25 criminal offenses, including theft, drug trafficking, physical assault and property damage, but has never served time in a German prison "due to procedural issues." The newspaper Bild wrote that King Abode "loves the attention" he receives from his criminal behavior. "As the asylum seeker has kept to our knowledge to the conditions, there is currently no legal basis for an extension of the existing residence ban," said Bautzen spokesman André Wucht. "King Abode" recently posted a six-minute rap video on YouTube in which he shouted: "Sh*t, back to my homeland? I'm not going. I'm staying here in Germany. Oh the sh*tty police, I have no respect for you." He cannot be deported because Libya is regarded by German authorities to be "unsafe," and also because Germany does not have a repatriation agreement with Libya.
January 4. A 31-year-old Turkish-born German shouting, "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is greater!") resisted arrest at Steintorplatz in Hamburg. More than 20 patrol cars were dispatched to subdue the man, who was ordered to undergo a medical examination.
January 5. The "Second Meeting of European Muslims" was held at the Cologne Central Mosque, a mega-mosque established by the Turkish government. The closed-door meeting, which brought together more than 100 Muslim representatives from 17 European countries, was led by Ali Erbas, head of the Turkish government's Directorate for Religious Affairs, in Turkey known as the Diyanet. After Turkish officials posted a photo of the event on the internet, reports soon emerged that the meeting had included representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and being monitored by German intelligence. Some observers said that the meeting was an attempt to make Turkey's claim to leadership of the Islamic world clear to other rival powers. The final declaration of the Cologne conference emphasized the universality of Islam and rejected national forms of religion. "Islam is a religion of peace that defends the same universal values throughout the world," the statement read. "Regional or national terms such as 'German Islam,' 'French Islam,' 'Belgian Islam' or 'European Islam' contradict the universality of Islam, which enlightens all eras and places at once." The Cologne conference emphasized that the goal was to "institutionalize the meeting of European Muslims" every two years, in a two-year cycle. The first meeting was held in Brussels in 2014.
January 6. Migrants are believed to be behind a growing number of attacks on sanitation workers in Freiburg. In certain parts of the city, the employees of the city's waste management and street cleaning now only clean during the day and in teams of two. In one instance, someone threw a bottle into the windshield of a garbage truck and kicked in the door. In another incident, a sanitation employee was attacked from behind and rendered unconscious. Another employee was punched by a stranger who tried to steal his cellphone. "It's a new dimension," said Michael Broglin, CEO of the local street cleaning company ASF. "The cleaning service is being partly reduced."
"Again and again, federal police are arresting migrants walking on railroad tracks. For this reason, the Federal Police regularly conducts prevention meetings on the subject in shelters for asylum seekers, pointing out the particular dangers on railway facilities.
"In particular, warnings are given against unauthorized access to the tracks. Depending on the speed, trains have a braking distance of several hundred meters. Especially modern fast trains are often not perceived in time. The resulting consequences can be severe."
January 8. A 19-year-old Somali migrant admitted to trying to rape a 74-year-old woman in her apartment in Halle. "My client assures me that he is very sorry," said defense attorney Björn Fehse. "He got into the apartment because he wanted sex." When the judge asked the defendant why he continued to use violence after the woman resisted, he replied, "I was just drunk." The 19-year-old is accused not only of attempted rape, but also of burglary and assault.
January 9. A 24-year-old Gambian asylum seeker went on a rampage at a bank in Ravensburg after he tried to withdraw funds but could not when a teller told him that he did not have sufficient funds. He drew a knife, threw around chairs and a radiator, and grabbed a donation fund set up at the counter. When police arrived, he resisted arrested and tried to headbutt a female officer. He was charged with attempted predatory extortion, attempted assault and insult to the detriment of police officers.
January 10. Germany deported a 23-year-old Afghan migrant named Mortaza D. but when he arrived in Kabul, Afghan authorities refused him entry and sent him back to Germany. Mortaza D., whose asylum application was rejected in 2010, is a serial criminal with more than 20 known offenses. Afghan authorities said that he is mentally ill, and, according to a bilateral agreement with Germany, "vulnerable" people cannot be deported to Afghanistan because the country lacks adequate medical facilities.
January 11. A 25-year-old Afghan asylum seeker stabbed a 25-year-old pregnant Polish woman at a hospital in Bad Kreuznach. The unborn child died in the attack. It later emerged that the two knew each other, although it unclear whether the man was the father of the child.
January 12. A 38-year-year-old Libyan man working as a doctor at a hospital in Melsung was arrested after being exposed a fraud. He was hired in early 2018 on the basis of falsified documents. A nurse became suspicious after the Libyan botched a blood transfusion, a standardized procedure. An investigation found that the man, who was previously hired by clinics in Kassel and Hildesheim, had been sentenced in May 2018 to three years and ten months in prison for forgery and fraud, in which he obtained more than 10,000 euros ($11,000) in wrongful social security payments. He was stripped of his German residency papers and ordered to be deported after serving his sentence; it remains unclear why he never went to prison, much less was allowed to practice medicine in Melsung.
January 13. A 23-year-old Afghan migrant was arrested for murdering an 87-year-old woman in Jena. The two lived in the same apartment building. Police found the woman's body in the basement after relatives reported her missing.
January 14. A 22-year-old asylum seeker was arrested after smashing the windows of the city hall in Bad Schwalbach. Police said the man, who lives in an asylum shelter in Niedernhausen, was dissatisfied with the amount of social welfare benefits he was receiving. The damage was estimated at about 5,000 euros ($5,650).
January 15. A 50-year-old German-Afghan who worked as a translator and cultural advisor for the German military was arrested on suspicion of spying for Iran. Abdul Hamid S. was accused of passing "highly sensitive information" to the Iranian secret service, MOIS. He is believed to have worked for the Iranian intelligence service for several years.
January 16. A 20-year-old Syrian asylum seeker stabbed a 22-year-old Syrian during a dispute at an asylum shelter in Guben. When employees of the shelter tried to intervene, he attacked them with an axe.
January 18. More than two dozen Turkish and Syrian youths attacked passersby at the central train station in Gelsenkirchen. The youths also emptied fire extinguishers, attacked railway employees and pressed emergency buttons to stop escalators. One suspect, who had an outstanding arrest warrant, pushed a police officer against the glass wall of a pizzeria. Both men fell through the glass into the bar. The suspect was injured and, after treatment at a hospital, was detained. The 29-year-old officer was seriously injured. Police said they would deploy more officers to the area, which, due to roving gangs of migrants, has descended into lawlessness. One officer admitted that the police are outnumbered: "Once a person is controlled or arrested in this area, they organize themselves via their smartphones. In no time, we face a larger group that impedes our work."
January 19. A 17-year-old girl was seriously injured after she was hit by a bus at the central bus station in Minden while trying to escape a 22-year-old Afghan migrant sexually harassing her. German media and police omitted the perpetrator's nationality, which was reported only by the conservative newspaper Junge Freiheit.
January 20. A court in Münster acquitted Sayed M., an 18-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, in the death of José Miranda, a Portuguese refugee helper. Sayed M. had been harassing a woman after she rejected his romantic advances. When Miranda intervened to protect the woman, Sayed M. fatally stabbed him six times in the heart. The court ruled that Sayed M. acted in self-defense and therefore was not guilty of murder, based on Paragraph 33 of the German Criminal Code, which states: "If the offender exceeds the limits of self-defense out of confusion, fear or terror, he will not be punished." The judge said that although the verdict was certainly "incomprehensible" to Miranda's relatives, "as judges we have to examine the case neutrally and without emotion." The ruling will likely be appealed.
January 21. A 22-year-old Afghan sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman who had fallen asleep on a train in Berlin. He was arrested after passengers reported him to police.
January 22. A 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, Amir W., appeared at Stuttgart Regional Court on charges of stabbing the 53-year-old father of a 19-year-old German woman who rejected his advances. The German newsmagazine Focus wrote:
"The young refugee has failed because he was not as well integrated as many people around him wanted to believe. But even more important is that what he considered the cultural values of his homeland to be closer to him than the values of our Western democracy — and that he had apparently tried to impose his archaic ideas with brute force."
January 23. Ali Bashar, a 21-year-old failed asylum seeker from Iraqi Kurdistan, was formally charged with raping and murdering Susanna Feldmann, a 14-year-old Jewish girl from Mainz. Bashar (also known as Ali Bashar Ahmed Z.) is accused of raping and then strangling Feldmann in a wooded area near his refugee shelter in Wiesbaden on May 23, 2018. In an effort to escape justice, Bashar fled Germany with his family by catching a flight from Düsseldorf to Iraq via Istanbul. After a public outcry, Germany issued an international arrest warrant for him. On June 11, German federal police chief Dieter Romann personally escorted him back from Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil, where he had been arrested by local Kurdish security forces. Bashar's trial is scheduled to begin on March 12.
January 23. A 33-year-old Syrian man, who was being deported to Spain in accordance with the EU's Dublin Regulation, pulled what appeared to be a knife shortly after boarding a plane at Frankfurt Airport. He loudly demanded that he, his wife and three children not be deported. Police obliged and escorted the family off the plane. The knife turned out to be a nail file.
January 23. Mission Lifeline, a German non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, called on German citizens to enter into fake marriages with illegal migrants. A tweet read:
"Are you not yet married? Maybe you could fall in love with someone who does not have the right to stay here? It could happen, right? Keep an open mind."
Philipp Amthor of the CDU's parliamentary group described the tweet as scandalous:
"This absurd call for entering marriages shows clearly that these 'sea rescuers' are in fact pursuing a much larger agenda. They want to thwart our immigration law with their left-wing ideology and make a mockery of our constitutional state."
January 24. A 25-year-old Syrian migrant was arrested in Landshut after sexually assaulting several girls between the ages of 11 and 14 on their way to school. Police said the man had an outstanding arrest warrant but had eluded capture.
January 25. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) reported that only 35% of the migrants who arrived in Germany since 2015 have found work. Most of those are employed in part-time jobs, internships or apprenticeships. The average monthly gross income for migrants with full-time employment was 1,564 euros ($1,750); the average monthly gross income for part-time employees was 408 euros ($460).
January 25. In Mulheim, a man speaking Turkish indiscriminately kicked a 26-year-old man in the face while exiting a train. The victim was hospitalized with bruises and broken teeth. The attacker remains at large. In Freiburg, at a refugee shelter, a 25-year-old Gambian sexually assaulted a cleaning lady. In Stendal, a 20-year-old Arab man sexually assaulted a 44-year-old German woman after breaking into her apartment.
January 26. A 33-year-old Syrian Muslim in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt shot and killed a 25-year-old Iraqi Christian who was dating the Syrian man's sister. "Presumably it was a thorn in the side of the Syrian that his sister was with an 'infidel,'" said prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters.
January 27. Two teenagers of Greek and Turkish origin were arrested after pushing three German teenagers onto the railway tracks at the Frankenstadion train station in Nuremberg. Two of the Germans, both 16 years of age, were killed by an oncoming train. German media not only downplayed the immigration background of the suspects by describing them as indigenous Germans; they also reported that the teenagers "fell onto the tracks." Some 150 witnesses were being questioned by police.
January 28. More than 14,000 people were caught trying to enter Germany illegally in 2018, according to police statistics leaked to the Rheinische Post. About 8,000 were stopped on trains and 6,000 on long-distance buses. Most of the unauthorized entries occurred at Germany's border with Austria, followed by its borders with France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Most of the migrants arrived from Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and Turkey.
January 29. A 25-year-old Afghan migrant was acquitted of raping a 50-year-old disabled woman in Nuremberg. The woman, a refugee caretaker, said she could not defend herself because she suffers from muscle spasticity on one side of her body. Prosecutors requested that the defendant be sentenced to four years in prison. His defense attorneys demanded an acquittal because, according to the Afghan, the sex was consensual. The Nuremberg-Fürth district court sided with the defendant, who was released and is now free.
January 30. A 16-year-old Nigerian migrant physically assaulted a 32-year-old female train conductor after she asked him for his ticket on a regional train. Two other passengers subdued the Nigerian and handed him over to police, who revealed that he had committed another crime earlier in the day at Magdeburg Central Station.
January 31. Three Iraqis were arrested in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. They were accused of planning a jihadi attack aimed at killing as many people as possible. Around 200 police and intelligence agents were monitoring the Iraqis around the clock before they were arrested in an early morning raid. They had arrived in Germany in the fall of 2015, after Chancellor Angela Merkel opened German borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants. The men were enjoying subsidiary refugee protection, which allowed them to live in Germany even though they did not qualify for refugee protection or the right to asylum.