A German minister yesterday warned against drawing a hasty link between refugees and perpetrators of the deadly Paris attacks, warning that the IS group could be trying to exploit the debate over Europe’s migrant influx.
The French police’s discovery of a purported Syrian passport near the body of one attacker in particular has sparked concerns that at least one of the assailants might have entered Europe with the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Syria’s civil war.
But Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas called for “very, very great prudence, until things are clear”.
“We are aware that the IS [Islamic State] is known to leave such false tracks behind to politicize and radicalize the issue over refugees in Europe,” Maas told public broadcaster ARD.
The questions over Europe’s migrant influx are particularly sensitive in Germany, which has become the top destination for those fleeing war and persecution.
Europe’s biggest economy expects to see around one million asylum seekers this year alone.
Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Soeder had cranked up pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s to reverse her “open-door” refugee policy, saying the attacks in Paris underlined the need for tougher measures to control the influx of migrants.