The German ambassador to Pakistan has warned that Islamists are benefitting from his country’s asylum policy in Afghanistan, a leaked email reveals.
Ambassador Alfred Grannas warned that Germany’s admission process—particularly for at-risk Afghan asylum-seekers—is being abused by radical Islamists, in a confidential email to Foreign Office officials. Approximately 1,000 Afghans arrive in Germany monthly under a new asylum scheme announced in October 2022.
The remarks fuel fears that Germany’s generous asylum policy threatens national security. Grannas reproached the domineering role of western NGOs and the open-borders policies of Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. He went on to specify that Sharia scholars often masquerade as western-trained lawyers to qualify for permits, and many applicants have duplicate stories and fake family members also seeking admission.
Grannas squarely blamed NGOs—which are neither transparent nor accountable—for selecting which individuals qualify as ‘at risk.’ Since Germany closed its embassy in 2022, civil society organisations have replaced the government on the ground in processing asylum applications in Afghanistan.
The primary NGOs now managing asylum applicants for the German government are Pro Asyl and Kabul Luftbrucke, co-founded by German Green MEP Erik Marquard.
The memo indicates a growing rift between the German foreign ministry and its Pakistani embassy charged with implementing the new system. Previous reports have shown that the German foreign ministry has overridden its Pakistani embassy to fast-track applicants, even without documentation or proper background checks.
Germany accepted 1.2 million refugees in 2022, including 200,000 outside the EU. Security experts have repeatedly warned of the danger the influx poses, with the new arrivals already linked to increased crime. The head of the German intelligence agency has also warned of the possibility that extremists could enter the country through lax migration control.
In October 2022, the German government pledged to take in 38,000 vulnerable Afghans and provide asylum for them—along with 26,000 already in the country—under a new admission scheme initiated by the German foreign ministry.
Germany and the rest of Europe are experiencing a surge in non-EU refugees, with Afghans often arriving through the Western Balkans. German housing authorities have reported a strain on supply caused by arrivals from Afghanistan and Ukraine.