Cologne criminal complaints growing
They also announced that on Saturday night they arrested a 19-year-old Moroccan man on allegations he stole a 23-year-old woman’s cellphone on New Year’s, and had identified 19 other suspects by name. Police said the Moroccan, who they said has been involved in various crimes since 2013, isn’t accused of a sexual offence but the investigation is ongoing.
In a separate development that seemed likely to provide more grist for opponents of Merkel’s policies, police in the western state of North RhineWestphalia on Saturday raided an apartment at a shelter for asylum-seekers in Recklinghausen that they said had been occupied by an extremist who French police fatally shot on Thursday as he ran up to a Paris police station wielding a butcher’s knife and wearing a fake explosives vest.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in remarks Sunday that the man was also believed to have lived in Luxembourg and Switzerland.
North Rhine-Westphalia state police chief Uwe Jacob described the suspect as a small time criminal known to authorities by several aliases, who had a record that included weapons charges, drug trafficking and causing bodily harm and had spent at least a month in jail.
He said there are no indications the man was part of an extremist network, but that a self-drawn Islamic State flag was found in his room, the dpa news agency reported.
Right-wing demonstrators hold a sign “Rapefugees not welcome - !Stay away!” and a sign with a crossed out mosque as they march in Cologne, Germany, Saturday. Women’s rights activists, far-right demonstrators and left-wing counter-protesters all took to the streets of Cologne on Saturday in the aftermath of a string of New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne blamed largely on foreigners.