Germany reports record-high number of politically-motivated crimes for a second year in a row
Last year German officials received complaints about a record number of politically-motivated criminal acts, 41 549 total. The number of such crimes perpetrated by foreign nationals significantly increased by two-thirds year-on-year.
The number of such crimes committed by right-wing radicals also slightly rose. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziére presented statistics to that effect yesterday.
The overall number of politically-motivated crimes rose by 6.6 % last year compared to 2015. Right-wing radicals made the biggest contribution (23 555 crimes compared to 22 960 in 2015), followed by left-wing extremists (9 389, down from 9 605 in 2015).
The most dramatic change happened in the number of politically-motivated crimes committed by foreign nationals, which rose from 2 025 crimes in 2015 to 3 372 crimes last year, an increase of 66.5 %. Among those crimes, as the Interior Minister pointed out, are the activities of terrorist organizations such as the so-called Islamic State or the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).
Politically-motivated crimes took 14 lives last year in Germany, 12 of whom fell victim to the Islamist attack on Berlin's Christmas market. Police recorded 38 cases of politically-motivated attempted homicide or murder and three cases in which the homicide or murder was successful - 19 of those were committed by right-wing radicals, 16 by foreign extremists, and six by left-wing radicals.
The Interior Minister said he considers statisics on politically-motivated crime like a seismograph of the mood in society. He also said a growth in such crime is unacceptable.
Germany has been recording politically-motivated crimes since 2001. During 2015 and 2016 the numbers of such crimes achieved record high levels.
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