Iraqi migrant stabs victim in Berlin train station, but liberal German newspapers are silent on suspect’s foreign background

Almost every second suspect in a gang rape does not have German citizenship. (Shutterstock)
By Kristýna Čtvrtlíková
5 Min Read

On Tuesday morning, a man of Iraqi origin stabbed a passenger at Berlin Ostkreuz train station in the back, seriously injuring him.

The perpetrator initially bumped into the 46-year-old man and then suddenly stabbed him in the back with a knife, reports the federal police.

The seriously injured victim saved his life when he reached a patrol by the Deutsche Bahn railway company security service.

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“Rescue workers treated the injured traveler right away and then took him to a hospital for medical care,” the federal police stated.

Once police checked his background, they discovered he also had four arrests for property crime and violations of narcotics laws.

“Another knife attack by a criminal foreigner, which could have been prevented by timely deportation. Another avoidable victim of violence who narrowly escaped with his life. The failure of the old parties, their irresponsibility and their disinterest in the protection of normal citizens and their clientele policy for migrant milieus prevent the deportation of such perpetrators demanded by the AfD and enables them to commit further serious crimes in Germany,” said Beatrix von Storch, deputy federal spokeswoman of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), in response to the attack.

Migrant crime being hidden?

A number of top German publications made no mention of the perpetrator being an Iraqi migrant, including the taxpayer-funded RBB, the taxpayer-funded dpa wire service, the Berliner Zeitung, the Berliner Abendblatt, T-Online, and Der Taggespiegel. The Bild is the only large paper that reported that the suspect was Iraqi and that he was already wanted by police for previous incidents. In what could be interpreted as an attempt to hide these crime trends from the general public, a number of German publications often fail to identify crimes committed by migrants, which they fear could generate sympathy for the conservative party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The general exception to hiding the nationality of suspects is when a high-profile attack occurs or if there are murder victims. During the mass sexual assaults in Cologne during New Year’s Eve 2015/2016, in which over 2,000 German women were sexually assaulted, the German press was accused of hiding the fact that hundreds of North African and Middle Eastern refugees were responsible. The information only came to light days later, as there were fears over the political fallout, which indeed came swiftly and helped fuel the rise of the AfD.

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Despite the reporting methods of the country’s liberal establishment, much of the German public is highly interested in the foreign background of perpetrators, especially regarding violent crime.

Stabbing attacks involving migrants are not uncommon in Germany. In fact, here are a list of just a few of the stabbings from only 2021 involving migrants: an Afghan stabbed three people at a Dresden train while screaming “Allahu Akbar;” a Somali man stabbed and killed three women in the German city of Würzburg; a Somali man stabbed his victim 111 times and beheaded him in Bavaria; a Syrian migrant stabbed four people on a high-speed ICE train between Regensburg and Nuremberg; and an Afghan refugee stabbed a woman who was working in a park because “she was working,” which made him angry.

That is by no means an exhaustive list of stabbing attacks involving migrants in Germany for 2021, but it highlights the real but often underreported societal challenge of migrants and high crime rates. Data shows that migrants and foreigners in Germany are disproportionately involved in crime, especially violent crimes such as stabbings and murder. Despite making up about 12 percent of the population, foreign national account for 37.7 percent of all violent crime.

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