The Taliban’s health minister during the late 1990s recently tried to seek asylum in Germany under a fake identity.
Abdul Rauf Mohammad and his family were caught using fake passports as they tried to get through customs at Frankfurt Airport in November. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees was surprised when they realized the man was actually a high-ranking Taliban member, Der Spiegel reported Friday.
Mohammed reportedly met with al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden on several occasions before leaving Afghanistan after a fallout with the Taliban leadership.
Mohammed was granted asylum in Norway in 2000 but was deported in 2014 on suspicion of radicalizing young Muslims. He then returned home to Afghanistan.
Germany hopes to deport thousands of Afghans during 2017. The interior ministry claims many Afghans claim they fought for the Taliban, sometimes involuntarily, to avoid deportations.
Migrants have been warned that pretending to be a former Taliban member will lead to prosecutions, although such proceedings would delay their expulsions.
“This claim could lead to federal prosecutors opening an investigation on suspicion of supporting a foreign terror organization,” a spokesperson for the interior ministry said, according to The Local.
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