Sunday night, two weeks after being denied asylum in Germany and told he would be deported to Bulgaria, a Syrian refugee made a cell-phone video pledge to ISIS, then committed a suicide bombing near a music festival in Ansbach. Fifteen people were injured, four of them seriously. The suspect was the only person killed.
The man lived in Germany for two years, waiting to be granted asylum. During that time, he had a record of committing petty crimes. His deportation may have been delayed for medical reasons that included being placed in a mental hospital.
ISIS was quick to claim responsibility for the attack but there is no evidence that he had any previous or direct communication with the militant group. The Ansbach attack was the fourth to occur in the country in just one week.
Tensions over immigration policy are growing in Germany. Angela Merkel, Germany’s prime minister was originally praised for her generous stance toward immigrants – last year they accepted more than one million asylum seekers. Now, following the increase in violent attacks, the summer of 2016 is being widely criticized as “ Merkel summer” on German social media.