Two arrested in connection to a New Year’s Eve “rioting sex mob” of refugees

A police officer walks to the crime scene where a 17-year-old man from Afghanistan was shot the night before, in Wuerzburg, Germany, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. On Monday evening, the man wielding an axe and knife attacked travelers on a regional train near Wuerzburg. Four people were seriously injured. He was shot and killed by police as he fled. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

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A man and a woman from Frankfurt, Germany, have been arrested for filing false reports after they claimed a “rioting sex mob” of “Arab men” looted businesses and sexually assaulted German women on New Year’s Eve.

Police say none of it happened, according to German paper Frankfurter Rundschau.

Chef Jan Mai said a crowd of 50 “Arab” men destroyed his restaurant and others, grabbed and assaulted women and stole jackets. A Frankfurt woman identified as “Irina A.” seemingly confirmed the account, reporting to police that a similar mob “grabbed [her] under [her] skirt, between the legs, and on [her] breast.”

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Their account came apart under investigation. Police could not corroborate the claims of either accuser; in social media posts, police say the Irina revealed she wasn’t even in Germany the night of the alleged assaults.

The far-right Bild newspaper reported the assaults first. Bild added to the story by speculating, without evidence, that the attackers were “900 drunk refugees” from a refugee home in the city. The false and racist accusations made international news, though Bild has since taken the story down.

Frankfurt police were “astonished” by the Bild report, as they hadn’t received a single report of refugee crimes on New Years Eve.

Police say the claims are “without foundation” and that they have “considerable doubts” about the accounts of both alleged victims. “Masses of refugees were not responsible for any sexual assaults in the Fressgass over New Year. The accusations are completely baseless,” say Frankfurt police.

It is not the first questionable claim of New Year’s Eve assaults to surface in Germany, where anti-refugee sentiments are strong. Breitbart News ran a story called “1,000-man mob attack police, set Germany’s oldest church alight on New Year’s Eve.” The fire in question started after a firework landed on scaffolding and was quickly extinguished. The Breitbart story claimed that a mob “launched fireworks at police” and hoisted “the flag of al-Qaida and Islamic State collaborators the Free Syrian Army.”

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