Angela Merkel Stands by Refugee Policy After Attacks

Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the lower house of parliament Bundestag, Berlin, June 28. A new analysis says Merkel did not boost numbers of refugees coming to Germany. Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has doubled down on her migration policy, saying that she will not alter it in the wake of a series of terror attacks and other violent incidents.

Merkel cut short her summer holiday to face questions at a press conference on Thursday after four attacks hit the southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg in the past week.

Some of the attacks were carried out by asylum seekers and one by a refugee.

On July 18, a teenage Afghan asylum seeker slashed at passengers on a train in Wuerzburg with an ax and knife, wounding five. On July 22, a German teenager shot dead nine people in Munich. On July 24, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee killed a woman with a machete, and later that day, a 27-year-old Syrian whose asylum application had been refused blew himself up outside a music festival in Ansbach.

Merkel's welcoming approach to refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and elsewhere has drawn criticism from the right in her country and elsewhere.

Speaking on Thursday, Merkel said that asylum seekers who committed attacks had "shamed the country that welcomed them," the BBC reported.

But she said people fleeing persecution had a right to be protected, adding that the attacks were intended to "spread fear and hatred between cultures and between religions."

Merkel also proposed new policies aimed at preventing and tackling terrorism. She is looking at reforming the way the authorities share information, how online communications are deciphered, tackling online arms sales and the responses to attacks by the security services.

Angela Merkel Stands by Refugee Policy After Attacks | World