Duisburg, Essen, Bochum: Böller attackers also caused chaos in NRW on New Year’s Eve. The preliminary balance of damage paints a frightening picture of the perpetrators: as in Berlin, many apparently had a migration background.

The YouTube videos from New Year’s Eve are disturbing. In Bonn, a mob of around 40 lures police officers into a targeted trap. Dumpster burn. Firefighters rush over. Firecrackers and stones fly at the rescuers. Only officers of a hundred squad can calm the situation down. Most of the rioters fled. According to FOCUS online information, only a 19-year-old from the group is temporarily arrested.

At the same time, young men in Duisburg-Marxloh yell “Allahu Akbar” as an ambulance drives by with blue lights flashing. Firecrackers fire again. “Sons of bitches, sons of bitches,” yells through the district, which is mostly inhabited by Turkish immigrants. Garbage cans and Euro pallets catch fire, tram tracks are damaged.

A few kilometers further, emergency services rush to the problem district of Hochheide. Every fifth resident lives here without a German passport, not including those men and women with a migration background.

At around 10:30 p.m., the police rushed to Mayor-Bongartz-Platz. Larger groups shoot at each other with firecrackers. Sometimes the bullets hit completely uninvolved onlookers. Officials expected a hail of stones, firecrackers and bottles.

Social hotspot Hochfeld: A secluded district. Around one o’clock, e-scooters burn. The police and fire brigade rush to the crime scene. Chaotic attack a car of the fire-fighting group with Pyros. Four days later, a police spokesman was still stunned: “We as the police are now used to being insulted or attacked all year round, but that rescue workers who want to help people are approached in this way is a no go.”

The federal capital in particular turns into a capital of violence at the turn of the year. But in Duisburg, Bonn and Frankfurt/Main, too, the streets in a number of problem districts are developing into battlefields. NRW alone reported almost 260 temporary arrests nationwide, 42 police officers were injured. Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) stated: “With the rioters, we were obviously dealing predominantly with young men in groups, often with a migration background.”

In Bochum, a 26-year-old man and a youth fired at a house opposite with a pistol. During the arrest, a group of 300 people gathered and fired firecrackers at the officers to prevent access. Due to the charged mood, the Dortmund police were temporarily unable to enforce the ban on firecrackers in the city center.

New Year’s Eve high noon in the problem districts of the big cities here. In one clip, for example, a young man, drunk, explains: “We are Frankfurt, the police can kiss our ass.” In Düsseldorf, men pose with their rockets at a sign that reads “No firecrackers zone”. “All foreigners have a birthday,” shouts a young migrant into the camera.

Public discourse in the days that followed focused in part on extending the ban on firecrackers. Susanne Schröter, ethnologist and head of the Global Islam Research Center, describes “the demand for a transparent diversionary tactic, because one does not want to name and tackle the actual problem.” According to the professor at Frankfurt’s Goethe University, one has been experiencing for years “that violent young men with a migrant background challenge state power in public space. And not just on New Year’s Eve.”

FOCUS online has asked numerous police authorities in NRW about their findings from New Year’s Eve. In the social hotspot of Altenhagen, for example, around 20 firecrackers had attacked the police and fire brigade behind a barricade of burning garbage cans with pyrotechnics. Four young men had to be temporarily taken into police custody in Hagen. They are two German-Turks and two German-Tunisians. An investigative team is now looking for the rest of the rioters.

In Duisburg, a commission is evaluating video material from social networks. Here, too, according to a spokesman for the authorities, there are many indications that rioters with a migration background in particular played a major role. In Essen-Bergmannsfeld, around 60 people had lured the police and fire brigade into a trap. Only with the protection of a hundred firefighters could military troops put out one burning garbage can after the other.

At the Essen water tower, 200 to 300 people shot at the emergency services. The police assume that the majority of the troublemakers come from Turkey or the Arab world.

In Cologne alone, twelve of the 21 delinquents come from Arab and North African countries, two of the nine Germans apparently have a migration background.

Now Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) is also calling for a rethink: “In major German cities we have a major problem with certain young men with a migration background who despise our state, commit acts of violence and are hardly reached with education and integration programs,” said Faeser Newspapers of the Funke media group: The rule of law must draw conclusions from this, for example “clearly show those who refuse to integrate violence in our cities the limits: with a hard hand and clear language – but without stirring up racist resentment.”

Your NRW colleague Herbert Reul (CDU) is expected to publish a preliminary report on the current findings on the incidents on Thursday.