• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Paris terror attacks
Police to apologize after wrongful Aachen arrests
Photo: DPA.

Police to apologize after wrongful Aachen arrests

DPA/The Local · 18 Nov 2015, 15:12

Published: 17 Nov 2015 13:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Nov 2015 15:12 GMT+01:00

Aachen law enforcement will apologize "shortly" and in "an appropriate" manner to the seven people they falsely arrested, a spokesperson announced on Wednesday.

As well as written apologies, officers will also explain in person why they took the measures they did, reports Tagesspiegel.

According to police, one of the men “looked very similar” to Salah Abdelsalam, a 26-year-old fugitive suspected of involvement in Friday's Isis terror attacks in Paris.

After their release on Tuesday, a spokesman for police in Aachen - a region in North Rhine-Westphalia near the borders with the Netherlands and Belgium - said the people were unconnected to the terrorist attacks in Paris.

'Good relationship' between police and Muslims

Idris Malik from the Islamic Centre in Aachen, speaking to The Local after the suspects were released, sought to allay fears that local police could have acted too hastily against the Muslim community.
 
"We have a good relationship to the police and stay in close contact with them. When they have indications of trouble they let us now so that we can take better care," he said
 
"Up until now I have heard no complaints from within the Muslim community against the police in Aachen." 
 
Malik said his major concern was that the perpetrators of the Paris attacks were caught as swiftly as possible.
 
"It is totally understandable that here on the border people are in a state of shock and that the police must take information seriously," he said.
 
The arrests could have happened through a white person innocently finding it difficult to differentiate between Middle Eastern faces, he suggested.

No 'close relationship' to Paris

Suspense was high throughout the day, as it seemed that police might be closing in on a key Isis suspect. But law enforcement were also cautioning that the whole thing could come to nothing.

When Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière stepped in front of the press at 6pm, his stumbling introductory statement seemed to give away that police had not found their man.

The minister admitted that the arrests did not have a "close connection" to Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, justifying the move by saying that "one of the perpetrators is still on the run. The risk is still there that he's on the run in a neighbouring country."

"Today's security measures in North Rhine-Westphalia were in connection with this," he added.

But he confirmed that the person being searched for was not found during the raids in the Aachen region.

De Maizière also said that the threat level in Germany is "high" and that the interior ministry is receiving a lot of information about threats against the Bundesrepublik.

"All of these are being taken seriously and investigated," he said.

Shortly after de Maizière's statement the two women and five men were released.

Story continues below…

Arrests throughout day

Police made the first arrests Aachen on Tuesday morning at a job centre in Alsdorf, a town outside the city of Aachen..

The series of arrests on Tuesday morning in the town of Alsdorf in the region of Aachen. Two women and one man were stopped by police in their car while leaving the car park of a job centre they had reportedly been visiting.

An eyewitness reported to DPA that special forces officers wearing masks and carrying submachine guns were seen blocking off a street in Alsdorf where the first three arrested were reportedly living.

Police said the trio were foreign and Der Spiegel reported that an employee of a discount store had tipped the off, saying she recognized suspect Abdesalam as being in the group.

Police decided to proceed with the investigation even though Abdesalam was not found among them because they wanted to make sure the suspected terrorist did not get away, Spiegel reported. In the afternoon they confirmed four more people had been arrested.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Far-right AfD leader injured by flying frozen cake
Jörg Meuthen and a cake. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right AfD party was attacked with a cake while attending a political event on Monday. But the fact the dessert was frozen made the act "dangerous", according to the politician.

Underwater pensioner hunts boats on famed Bavarian lake
A passenger boat on Lake Starnberg. Photo: DPA

"I love chasing the ships, and what a great feeling it is when they sound the horn!" he gleefully exclaims.

What are Merkel's chances for remaining Chancellor?
Photo: DPA.

She's already held the Chancellery for over a decade, but infighting with political allies as well as a rocky response to her refugee policies may put a damper on Angela Merkel's staying power.

German EU commissioner doubts Brexit will happen
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Photo: EPA.

Germany's EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger raised doubts on Tuesday about whether Britain would leave the bloc, saying he wouldn't bet on "Brexit".

Merkel offers Russia a lifting of sanctions - if it behaves
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she has "the very greatest interest in stopping sanctions" against Russia, Reuters reports.

'Idiot' youth lets regional train drive over him as dare
Photo: DPA

In a stunt police have described as "incomprehensible idiocy," a drunk young man from Munich lay down on the tracks in front of a fast-moving train and let it ride over him.

'Unfriendly' Germans make expat life harder: report
Photo: Pexels.com

Expats in Germany generally find it great for families and starting a career, but were turned off by the language barriers and "unfriendly" Germans upon arrival, according to a new report.

Is German diplomacy getting too chummy with Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA/AFP Pool.

Critics have been questioning the German Foreign Minister's recent series of comments about working closer with Russia, with some labelling the diplomat a "Russia-sympathizer".

Police investigate after mosque door is bricked shut
The bricked-up door. Photo: Facebook/Netzwerk für Flüchtlinge in Parchim.

Unknown people have bricked up the entrance to a mosque in northeastern Germany and stuck racist flyers to their masonry work.

Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
7,595
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd