An asylum home security guard in the German city of Brunswick has admitted he tried to burn down the asylum home where he worked but blamed his actions on being angry with his girlfriend.
The 22-year-old admitted to the attempted arson in court claiming that just prior to the incident he had a particularly bad argument over the phone with his then-girlfriend. He said that the attack was not directed at the asylum seekers living in the complex and that he was sorry for his actions, Die Welt reports.
According to the 22-year-old’s supervisor, he had been under heavy stress due to racking up a very large debt and had failed in a recent attempt to graduate high school. An expert also testified that he had a slight mental retardation and that he was also suffering from post-traumatic stress due to having been sexually abused by his biological father when he was a child.
The attempted arson saw him throw a burning towel into a bedroom in the asylum home but it was quickly caught by one of the residents who managed to act quickly before the fire spread limiting the damage to only 500 euros. The 22-year-old had only been working at the home for a single day before the incident.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 12, 2016
Over the past year, the German government recorded 264 attacks on asylum homes, 16 of which related to arson and suspected far-right motivations in 251 cases.
The number decreased significantly from the previous year which saw 995 attacks on asylum homes.
While many are quick to assume a far-right motivation when an asylum home is burned down, it is not always the case. In several incidents, migrants themselves have set their accommodations on fire, either on purpose or by accident.
One of the largest asylum home fires was caused by an asylum seeker. In 2016, two asylum seekers were arrested after they were believed to have set a fire that engulfed the Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre.