“Security-relevant cases”: Also criminals on evacuation flights from Afghanistan

Status: 03.09.2021 9:12 p.m.

The Federal Government wants to present a detailed list of the people who have flown out of Afghanistan. According to Interior Minister Seehofer, it is known that there were also criminals among those who were flown out.

People who are known to the security authorities also came to Germany via the airlift from Kabul. So far, we know of 20 cases “that are security-relevant, which are now in Germany because they have not already been checked in Kabul,” said Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in the Munich press club.

A total of four of those who were flown out had been deported from Germany to Afghanistan – some years ago. According to information from the dpa news agency, not only criminals but also several people whose names had already appeared in the joint federal and state counter-terrorism center. “Two offenders were brought to the correctional facility on the basis of open arrest warrants,” said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Two other Afghans are “still in the care of the authorities”.

A man had also come to Germany “who, according to the unanimous view of Germany, America and Great Britain, should be rated even higher,” said Seehofer. Other cases involved forged documents.

Seehofer: As Minister of the Interior, it is my job to take a closer look

There was an emergency situation in Kabul, and such situations are always exploited by criminals, said Seehofer. “On the one hand, I am asked, ‘Open the doors, let them come in,'” said the Federal Minister of the Interior. If the security check then only takes place upon entry into Germany, and it then turns out that some undesirable people have also entered the country, he will be criticized, said Seehofer.

It is his job as Minister of the Interior to look closely at those who have flown out, said Seehofer. One of the offenders was a convicted rapist. “If someone raped children in Germany, we deported them and they are now back in Germany, then I cannot say: I do not know who is entering Germany and whether that is a security problem,” said Seehofer.

The case described by Seehofer is not a former local employee. According to reports from “Spiegel” and “Bild”, the man was deported to Afghanistan in 2019. The Munich Regional Court sentenced him to eight years and three months’ imprisonment.

Afghan minister on evacuation flight

According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, a total of 4,587 people came to Germany with the airlift, of which 3,849 were Afghan and 403 German nationals. Citizens from numerous other countries were among those in need of protection. “Some of them totally forged the papers, from A to Z, and some of them no one had an overview,” said Seehofer. Germans, on the other hand, were also flown out by the military of other nations.

The aim of the airlift was to bring primarily Germans as well as local employees and their families to Germany. A previous minister in the government of President Ashraf Ghani is one of the people who came to Germany via the airlift. According to information from the dpa news agency, the Afghan Minister for Religious Affairs, Mohammed Kasim Halimi, flew to Germany just under two weeks ago.

Even before the Taliban was overthrown in 2001, Halimi held a high position in the Foreign Ministry in her government. Later he was one of the critics of the militant Islamist Taliban. After the announced withdrawal of troops by the US Army, they had taken several provincial cities and then advanced into the capital Kabul in mid-August, practically without a fight. President Ghani fled abroad before the approaching Taliban.

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