Germany: 5 Pakistani family members arrested after setting fire to their own house and then blaming ‘Nazis’

By John Cody
5 Min Read

In December of last year, the story broke in Germany of a Pakistani family targeted in an arson attack by right-wing extremists on Christmas Day. It had the makings of a perfect story for use by the left, including “Nazis” targeting an innocent foreign family on Christmas day.

Police now say it was all a lie and that the arson attack was carried out by the foreign family against their own house for insurance money. Five family members have now been arrested, including the house owner and his brother-in-law. They are also accused of spraying racist graffiti in the house, including “foreigners out” twice.

After the house fire in Wächtersbach, which is located between the cities of Frankfurt and Fulda, politicians from the Greens and the left attended candlelight vigils denouncing racism, while outpourings “solidarity” against “Nazis” came in from all directions.

Police and fire department investigators initially suspected right-wing extremists were responsible for the arson attack. The Pakistani family was not home during the incident and told police they were visiting a friend, which meant none of them were injured in the attack.

The words “Foreigners out” are written on the walls – according to the public prosecutor’s office, the residents are responsible for the graffiti
The Pakistani family actually wrote the slogan “Foreigners out” twice on the walls of the burned-out house, according to the public prosecutor’s office.

The fire, which investigators now say was set by the family, raged for eight hours on Christmas day in 2023, with damage estimated at €350,000.

Prosecutors say that the family used the right-wing slogans to lead investigators away from the Pakistani family, according to German newspaper Bild.

The investigators focused their efforts on the 47-year-old homeowner, who police noticed had fresh burns on his arm despite claiming he was not home during the fire. Prosecutors believe the family set the fire to claim insurance money.

AfD reacts to the arson arrests

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Hesse, the German state where the arson attack took place, has since commented on the case in a statement:

“It was a slap in the face to many thousands of AfD voters. Just a few weeks ago, the citizens had placed their trust in us with a great election result (in Hesse). In some communities, we are even the strongest force, even ahead of the governing parties. For our political competitors, the house fire was obviously a welcome opportunity to inflict hatred and agitation on our party and our voters. Almost reflexively, the SPD, the Left and the Greens classified this crime as politically motivated.

“Waechtersbach’s mayor (a member of SPD), who is said to have known the affected Pakistani family to be well integrated, took the same line. At this point, we can also answer the question of what the AfD would do differently. In this case, we would raise the bar for successful integration a little higher. Anyone who attracts attention with criminal acts in their freely chosen host country at least raises doubts about successful integration. But we now trust that the German judiciary will make an appropriate assessment. And an apology from the protagonists of the vigil is now in order.”

Far worse arson attack last year

It would not be the first time foreigners in Germany have put lives at risk with an arson attack to claim insurance money. Just a month before this attack, in November 2023, a father and son stood trial for injuring 17 people when they intentionally burned down their poorly performing fashion business to claim insurance money.

Both men were sentenced to life in prison for the heinous attack in December 2023.

The regional court in Aachen heard how the son, 22-year-old Karsan K., poured 13 liters of gasoline into the fashion store in Eschweiler back in March this year and set it on fire, causing a mass explosion that left dozens injured and resulted in millions of euros in damage.

The two men required an interpreter during their trial.

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