The German migration agency has admitted the ‘speedy’ processing of asylum seekers will likely lead to security threats.
Frank-Jurgen Weise, head of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) took over leadership of the agency which has been in a constant state of disarray since the migrant crisis began last summer. The policy of the Merkel government has been to put pressure on the agency to get as many asylum seekers processed in the shortest amount of time.
Yet the priority of haste over thoroughness is starting to worry BAMF and Federal security agencies who consider the approach extremely dangerous in the wake of both the terrorist attacks in Paris, and the mass sexual assault in Cologne on New Years Eve.
Weise has decided that there needs to be more security checks of migrants and those coming to Germany to seek asylum. He notes the fact that perpetrators of both the Paris attacks and other arrests, such as the ISIS commander who was captured in a migrant home prove that radical Islamic terrorism is a present danger lurking in the mass flow of migrants coming into the European Union.
Internal agency documents purport to show how management plans to scale back the requirements for works to process a certain number of migrants and rather focus on quality of background and security checks rather than numbers. The documents also show that the agency needs more staff to be able to deliver rigorous checks and that currently the number of workers at the agency is far too low for the ambitious targets the government has set for them this year. Without extra employees the current staff will be forced to spend less time making thorough checks, and will only ask a limited number of pertinent questions of them.
So far the speed at which the workers are able to process migrants has been less than hoped-for by the government. In 2016 so far, most staff at the agency process around 0.6 migrant hearings per day. The internal documents say that these numbers are “far below the expected values” and that the numbers the Merkel government would like to see would be at least seven times that which they are currently achieving. The targets are set at 20 hearings per week with each staff member working around 50 hours per week to achieve it, 40 regular and 10 overtime hours.
Despite security risks none of the 430,000 registered Syrian asylum seekers have had to go through personal interviews to look into their backgrounds. This also applies to asylum applicants from Iraq who are religious minorities and migrants coming from the African country of Eritrea as long as they can provide adequate identification.
Internal security experts were shocked at the revelation as they had all assumed that all Syrian migrants would be examined in detail because of the potential to many to have links with the Islamic state, Al-Nusra or even those who commit war crimes and have fled to escape prosecution.
Christian Democratic Union politician Wolfgang Bosbach said, “I can understand that the BAMF is proceeding under enormous pressure given the high numbers, But this should not compromise the security interests of the Federal Republic. In each case, nationality and identity as well as potential security-related information about an applicant must be clarified.”