On Tuesday, German police in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia arrested a Syrian man charged with serious war crimes after arriving from Syria. The former militia commander is suspected of pillaging, plundering and committing brutalities against civilian in the city of Aleppo, Syria. The initial reports have not confirmed if the suspect entered Germany using a false identity or posing as a refugee.

In 2015, Germany took in more than a million migrants. The actual figures are believed to be much higher. Just this week, the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung reported that according to Interior Ministry’s estimates some 500,000 unregistered migrants were roaming across Germany.

This is not be the first time that German police have apprehended a war criminal since the country opened its borders to migrants after dismantling the Dublin Regulations on its own accord — set in place to screen and register aliens entering the EU borders — 9 months ago. In January, Police in Stuttgart had arrested a 24 year-old man suspected of committing war crimes in Syria. The Islamist was charged with kidnapping related crimes in his position as a fighter for al-Qaeda affiliated ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’ outfit. German broadcaster ARD reports:

Special Forces apprehended a Syrian in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, suspected of committing war crimes in the [Syrian] city of Aleppo. A Federal Court had issued an arrest warrant against the 41 year old. The arrest proceeded extensive investigations by Hessen State’s Criminal Investigations Office. (…)

According to Federal Prosecutor General the man is strongly suspected on several counts of cruel and inhuman mistreatment of persons protected under international humanitarian law in the fall of 2012. In addition to that he had been involved in pillaging repeatedly. The concrete charge against him is of committing war crimes.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the suspect led a local militia numbering 150 men in the city of Aleppo belonging to the group “Ghoraba as-Sham.” [Author’s translation]

The arrest once again raises questions if Germany’s open border policy has turned the country into a safe haven for Islamists departing the Syrian-Iraqi battle fronts. These are not run-of-the-mill Islamists anymore who have been ‘home-grown’ and radicalised in European mosques or in the suburbs, but battle-hardened terrorists with combat experience — pushing the stakes for Europe even higher.

In his Thanksgiving message President Obama compared Muslim and Arab migrants to the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower. The timing for President’s disingenuous comparison could not have been more cynical. The statement was made less than 2 weeks after the November Paris Attacks that killed 130 people, fulling knowing that French police had recovered a Syria refugee passport from the site of the deadly attack.

President Obama has pledged to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees and Senate Democrats want to push that number to 65,ooo. As United States accepts more and more migrants from Syria, the country increasingly exposes itself to the same perils that Europe faces in the aftermath of Paris and Brussels attacks.

Watch: President Obama’s Thanksgiving message comparing Syrian migrants to Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower (November 26, 2016):

[Cover image copy right Vijeta Uniyal]

Author is an analyst based in Germany