The Truth About the New Years Eve Refugee Attacks on Women in Germany

Claire Bernish
February 15, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) Cologne, Germany — A ferocious backlash against refugees from Syria and other countries in the Middle East erupted across Germany and Europe at large after the massive, brutal attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve — based on the widely held assumption the attackers had been refugees.

However, information revealed by Cologne public prosecutor Ulrich Bremer largely proves the hate-mongering has been a misguided attempt to blame an easy scapegoat: only three of 58 suspects arrested so far in connection with the attacks are refugees, two from Syria and one from Iraq.

Twenty-five of the arrestees are Algerian, 21 are Moroccan, three are Tunisian, and three are German citizens, said Bremer; though he still dismissively insisted the overwhelming majority of suspects arrested “fall into the general category of refugees.”

But according to German news outlet Die Welt, Bremer said only some of those arrested had formally completed applications for asylum in Germany.

As The Independent noted, “In January, the German government backed plans to include three north African states — Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia — on a list of ‘safe countries of origin,’ meaning people from those nations would be highly unlikely to be granted asylum.”

Of the 1,054 complaints received — largely concerning the time period beginning at 11 pm local time on December 31 through 1 am January 1 — 600 were related to theft.

This is not the first time refugees have been falsely accused of committing offenses in Germany. In fact, due to the prevalence of so many false reports and hoaxes accusing refugees of crimes, a “hoax map” has been created by refugee workers to help debunk Islamophobic misinformation. According to Revolution News:

“The German website Hoax Map is debunking false rumors and fake news stories accusing refugees in Europe of crimes ranging from ridiculous to disturbing in nature. The live map features the location of the reported hoax, a description of the false claim and a link to a report debunking the hoax.

“At the time of publishing the Hoax Map has recorded 236 hoaxes.”


This article (The Truth About the New Years Eve Refugee Attacks on Women in Germany) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email

Since you’re here…

…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us