Yesterday, we were shocked to learn that as German anger boils over at the country’s unprecedented refugee wave, one or more so far unknown assailants fired shots through the window at a home for asylum seekers in western Germany injuring one resident as he was sleeping. As AP noted it wasn’t immediately clear who was responsible for the incident or what the motive was. However, Darmstadt prosecutors’ spokeswoman Nina Reininger told news agency dpa: “If someone shoots at housing which has people inside, I assume that it is a targeted attack.”
Today, we are just as shocked to read that, even as we expected, the animosities between the two groups have dramatically escalated, and that the mayor of Cologne has summoned police for crisis talks after nearly 100 women reported they were robbed, threatened or sexually molested at the New Year’s celebrations outside the city’s cathedral by young, mostly drunk, men, police said on Tuesday. One woman said she was raped.
According to BBC, “the scale of the attacks on women at the city’s central railway station has shocked Germany.” About 1,000 drunk and aggressive young men were involved.
The initial shock will quickly transform to furious anger, because more important in this specific case was the origin of the 1,000 drunk assailants, who split into groups, and attacked women in the square. Citing the police chief Wolfgang Albers, BBC notes that the men were of “Arab or North African region“, adding that they were mostly between 18 and 35 years old. He added that the attack was a “completely new dimension of crime”.
BBC adds that what is particularly disturbing is that the attacks appear to have been organised. Around 1,000 young men arrived in large groups, seemingly with the specific intention of carrying out attacks on women.
Fearing a public backlash, Cologne mayor Henriette Reker said there was no reason to believe that people involved in the attacks were refugees. Nonetheless, after a crisis meeting, she admitted the attacks were “monstrous” adding that “we cannot allow this to become a lawless area.“