- The Washington Times
Monday, December 19, 2016

German authorities began early Tuesday to sketch a politically explosive portrait of the man arrested in the Berlin Christmas-market attack.

According to a report in the German newspaper Die Welt, translated with computer assistance by the Washington Times, the suspect is a newly-arrived Pakistani refugee.

Other local news outlets reported that he was a refugee, though uncertainty persists on where exactly he was from.

The Berliner Zeitung reported that he was an Afghan, and Der Tagesspiegel reported that the man was either Pakistani or Afghan.

In an indication that authorities know a great deal about the man, Die Welt specified the date on which the man arrived in Germany — Feb. 16 this year.

At that time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was defending her government’s open-door policy to refugees from the Muslim world in the face of an increasing backlash from German voters.

She has since backtracked and even come out in favor of limiting Muslim dress codes in order to encourage assimilation.

One German politician were quick to draw a political conclusion. Marcus Pretzell, a member of the European parliament from the right-wing Alternative for Germany, took to Twitter to blame Ms. Merkel.

“When will German rule of law strike back? When will this accursed hypocrisy end? These are Merkel’s deaths!” he wrote in German, according to a Times translation.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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