Authorities have revealed that the suicide bomber responsible for the explosion in Ansbach, Germany was in the process of being deported from the country prior to the attack. The 27-year-old bomber, whose name has not yet been released to the public, was reportedly a Syrian asylum seeker. This attack in Ansbach is only one of a string of attacks across Germany this week, some of which seem to be terrorist related. These incidents have led to calls for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to change her government’s controversial policies regarding Syrian refugees.
The explosion on Sunday in Ansbach injured 15 people and also resulted in the death of the bomber himself. The number of dead and injured could have been much greater. However, the bomber was refused entry into an Ansbach music festival where roughly 2500 people were in attendance.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the individual responsible for the explosion had ties to Islamic extremists. When his home was later searched, bomb-making materials were found. An examination of his phone uncovered a video in which the bomber threatened to carry out attacks in support of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is the Islamic State leader.
According to the BBC, the man behind the explosion in Ansbach was facing deportation to Bulgaria, but the deportation process had not begun. German officials are currently uncertain why there was a delay in returning this individual to Bulgaria. But given the fact that Germany accepted more than 1 million mostly Syrian refugees over the last year, it may be that there is a big backlog in deportations. There are also reports the bomber’s deportation was delayed due to mental health issues that led to at least two stays in German psychiatric hospitals.
Since the attacker who carried out the explosion was originally from Syria before he came to Ansbach, it was impossible for Germany to return him directly to that country. This is because German law makes it illegal to return any refugee to a nation that is currently experiencing warfare, which Syria certainly is.
These laws present a major problem for German officials attempting to deport any Syrian refugees they might consider dangerous or undesirable. If the deportation had actually been implemented, the individual who caused the explosion in Ansbach would have been returned to Bulgaria, which is the country from which he first entered Germany.
The explosion in Ansbach was only one of a string of attacks that took place across Germany this week. All of Germany is on edge and wondering when and where the next attack will take place. As CNN reports, Horst Seehofer, the current premier of Bavaria, described the situation in Germany following the explosion as “days of horror.”
On Sunday, another Syrian refugee killed a woman and injured two others in a knife attack. The attacker had been arrested before for violent attacks but had been released. But unlike the Ansbach explosion, the incident on Sunday appears to have been part of a private dispute between individuals instead of a terrorist-related incident.
A much more serious incident took place on Friday in Munich when Ali David Sonboly, an 18-year-old German of Iranian descent, opened fire on a crowd in a Munich shopping center. 35 people were injured and nine killed in this attack. There is evidence that Sonboly had psychological issues and was obsessed with terrorist attacks and mass shootings.
The first of these recent series of attacks in Germany occurred on the 19th of this month when a 17-year-old Afghan refugee carried out an attack on a train in Wurzburg. The attacker used a hatchet and a knife to injure four people on the train before being killed by police officers.
Combined with the previous attacks, the explosion in Ansbach has ramped up the political pressure on the Merkel administration to change its current policies regarding refugees. At this time, Germany accepts more Syrian refugees than any other country, but following these violent incidents, many within Germany are starting to question whether this is a wise policy.
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