Ali Bashar
Ali Bashar allegedly raped and murdered a German-Jewish teenager, Susanna Feldman. Wiesbaden Police Handout

German police are investigating the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl by a failed Iraqi asylum seeker who fled to his home country with his family.

The body of the Susanna Feldman was found on June 6 in woods near the city of Wiesbaden, in western Germany. She had been missing since May 22 and it is believed she was strangled.

Germany's Central Council of Jews said the murdered girl was a member of the Jewish community in Mainz, near Wiesbaden. It called for a thorough investigation and warned in a statement against "premature conclusions."

The authorities have now captured Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi, after receiving a tip-off from a refugee boy, 13, who lived in the same migrant hotel. Bashar left Germany suddenly last week with his parents and five siblings landing in Turkey before travelling on to Iraq the next day, police said. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Friday that he had been arrested by Kurdish authorities.

Bashar was already known to German police had been linked to a string of crimes, including an alleged knife robbery in March. He arrived in Germany in the mass influx of migrants and refugees to Europe in 2015, via Turkey and Greece. His asylum appeal was rejected in 2016 but he had been allowed to remain in Germany while his appeal was heard.

Several girls and women have been murdered by asylum seekers. The hard-right, anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) have seized on the cases as evidence of the threats posed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal immigration policies that have seen more than a million admitted with few checks.

This has triggered a backlash and in the 2017 German federal elections the AfD won 12.6 percent of the vote and captured 94 seats, the first time they had been represented in the Bundestag parliament.