Thousands of leads about possible war criminals among the asylum seekers that entered Germany in the massive influx of 2015-16 have apparently remained unprocessed. The claim was made in the Thursday edition of the mass-circulation Bild newspaper, citing a response by the Interior Ministry to a parliamentary request.
The newspaper reported that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) passed around 5,000 leads regarding "crimes under international law" to the Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the attorney general from 2014 to the beginning of 2019. There were a further 2,000 leads from other sources. But only in 129 cases were investigations launched. The information was contained in a response to a question by lawmakers and confirmed by the interior ministry, Bild said.
In 2015-16, at the height of the refugee influx, there were 3,800 leads, but only 28 investigations. "The large number of leads did not allow for them to be investigated immediately by police interrogations," a spokesman for the Interior Ministry told German news service dpa.
Lawmaker Linda Teuteberg from the opposition Free Democrats (FDP), which made the request, warned: "War criminals should not get protection in Germany. I have doubts as to whether the federal government has always pursued this in the past few years with due seriousness."