LA Times

The German government Tuesday vowed swift action against hundreds of men accused of molesting at least 90 women in a massive display of lawlessness outside the central rail station in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Justice Minister Heiko Maas labeled the reported attacks as despicable. Police in Cologne have received 90 complaints from women who said they were sexually molested, robbed or threatened by a drunken mob of about 1,000 men who encircled the victims during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in the center of Germany’s fourth-largest city near the Cologne Cathedral. Police said one woman was raped.

Cologne police said many of the attackers appeared to be originally from other countries, including Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, based on interviews with victims. That led to fresh criticism of Merkel, who has upset some people in Germany by supporting the arrival of refugees, which in 2015 included more than 1 million people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Other witnesses were quoted in local media as saying that they were groped so hard and aggressively that their bodies were black and blue with bruises. Attackers ripped the clothes of some; others reported some of the men tried to hug and kiss them.

Don’t worry, the lady mayor of Cologne is on the job.

“It’s important to prevent these kinds of attacks in the future,” she added, noting that the relaxed party atmosphere in Cologne during New Year’s Eve and during the Carnival season in February should not be confused as an invitation to assault women. “We’ll have to do a better job of explaining to people from different cultures living here that a celebratory atmosphere on the streets has nothing at all to do with sexual attacks.”

What cultures celebrate by groping, fondling and bruising women? [Insert Bill Clinton joke here.] Maybe the so-called German reactionaries who worry about the massive influx of Middle-eastern immigrants have a point?

Meanwhile, German media are asking why their government sat on the story so long. From the German Bild (translated by Google).

The attack began in the old year. Against 23.15 clock on New Years Eve, the Sex Mob exterminated together at Cologne Central Station, launched the first assaults. Up to 4 clock in the morning oppressed, abused and beklauten dozens offender at least 100 women. Also in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Bielefeld beat men’s gangs in a similar way.

However, the public learned only days later by the crime. And many people in the country are now wondering why it took so long until the media reported? Was it wrong consideration because the perpetrators obviously come from Arab or North African countries? Because some of them could be refugees?