German police have recorded more than 450 asylum-related assaults on politicians and aid workers in 2016. The numbers of arson attacks on shelters in Germany will likely fall just short of the record set in 2015.
This year, officials have recorded 317 asylum-related attacks on political officials and 144 against aid workers and organizations, according to Federal Criminal Police (BKA) statistics published online Sunday by the weekly newspaper Zeit. The attacks were overwhelmingly committed by right-wing extremists.
Nine attacks on politicians were thought to have left-wing motives, and the BKA has yet to uncover the reasons behind another 93, Zeit reports. The remaining 212 were committed by German nationalists. Only one of the attacks on aid organizations and workers was thought to have had a left-wing motive, and 16 remain undetermined, with 127 found to have been committed by Germany's emboldened xenophobic right.
On a somewhat-positive note, Zeit reports, the rate of attacks on accommodation centers for asylum applicants has slowed since the beginning of the year. However, the BKA does not expect the overall total to be significantly lower than 2015, when a record number of arsons and other right-wing attacks were recorded.
The BKA found that many of the people who have committed attacks on accommodation centers were unconcerned as to whether people were inside. The statistics need to "in some cases be tabulated with homicides, as well," Zeit reports, citing the analysis. The BKA is looking into "the formation of terrorist and criminal groups within the right-wing spectrum."
The latest attack tally comes as German politicians within the government's own center-left and right wings are floating increasingly restrictive policies for displaced people and officials are trying to cut social Services for asylum applicants.
mkg/rc (epd, AFP, dpa)