German suspect arrested after arson attack that killed immigrant family in Solingen: Report

Thu, 11 Apr 2024 4:36 GMT
Suspect is former resident of housing complex and he was kicked out of this apartment in 2022 as he did not pay his rent, according to Bild daily.
German suspect arrested after arson attack that killed immigrant family in Solingen: Report

A German national has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out an arson attack in Solingen that killed four members of an immigrant family two weeks ago, authorities said on Wednesday.

Wuppertal’s public prosecutor Heribert Kaune-Gebhard told reporters that the suspect was caught on surveillance cameras on the night of the arson attack, and investigators have found out that he was one of the residents of the house complex in early 2022.

“He had to leave this apartment after the landlady terminated the tenancy agreement, this has led to a dispute with her, and all these indicate a possible personal motive for the crime,” Kaune-Gebhard told a press conference in Wuppertal.

“The investigations carried out so far, in particular the search of his apartment and the evaluation of evidence, have not revealed any evidence indicating a xenophobic motive, or any other motive for the crime,” he said, adding that the investigations were ongoing.

The 39-year-old suspect, identified as Daniel S., was arrested after attacking his friend with a machete and seriously wounding him on Monday afternoon, apparently due to a dispute over a narcotics deal, according to the authorities.

Prosecutor Kaune-Gebhard said one of the witnesses reported hearing a Nazi slogan at the scene, while another witness could not confirm this and talked about hearing some screams.

“This is now the subject of the ongoing investigation,” he said.

On the night of March 25, four members of a Turkish-Bulgarian family were killed in a fire, and over a dozen others were injured, some seriously. Almost all of the four-story house's residents were immigrants, with Turkish nationals among those injured.

In recent weeks, rights groups and immigrant organizations have called for a swift and transparent investigation into the arson, stressing that authorities should investigate all possible motives, including the possibility of a far-right motive behind the attack.

Germany has witnessed growing racism in recent years fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups and anti-immigrant politicians and political parties.

Between January and October last year, right-wing extremists committed 13,610 crimes and carried out 559 violent attacks targeting migrants, refugees, or political opponents. Nearly 450 people were injured in those attacks.

1993 Solingen arson attack

Three decades ago, a far-right arson attack in Solingen killed five members of a Turkish immigrant family, in one of the most severe instances of racist violence in modern Germany.

Their house was set ablaze by neo-Nazis amid growing resentment against immigrants and foreigners, after the unification of East and West Germany.

Police arrested four right-wing extremists who were sentenced to 10-15 years in prison. They were released after serving their sentences.


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