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German media roundup: Frankfurt's lone terrorist

The Local · 4 Mar 2011, 15:04

Published: 04 Mar 2011 15:04 GMT+01:00

Arid Uka, a 21-year-old suspected Islamic radical born in Kosovo but raised in Frankfurt, has admitted to shooting dead two US servicemen at the city's airport on Wednesday.

The incident, which also left two airmen seriously injured, was likely the first Islamist terrorist attack on German soil. Particularly worrying for the nation’s politicians is how quickly Uka apparently turned to extremist ideology.

Investigators have begun studying a page on social networking website Facebook believed to belong to the suspect on which he made no secret of his radical leanings and connections to Germany’s Islamist scene.

A top German lawmaker called Friday for the expulsion of "hate preachers" in the wake of the shooting.

"Religious freedom does not mean the freedom to do anything you like," Wolfgang Bosbach, the parliamentary interior policy spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), told the regional daily the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

Meanwhile, the head of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, called for 2,000 additional staff to monitor extremist websites.

"Only via a massively increased police presence on the internet can the emergence of hate preachers or messages from Islamists be discovered in time," he told the paper. "If it is technically possible, internet sites from the Islamist scene must be blocked.”

Newspapers in The Local’s media roundup on Friday grappled with the causes and repercussions of a senseless act.

The Leipziger Volkszeitung said the shooting had changed the quality of the threat of Islamist terrorism.

“The security authorities could not hinder an Islamist attack in Germany that cost human lives,” the regional daily wrote. “However, it wasn’t al-Qaida or another terrorist organisation behind it, but rather someone acting alone. Of course, there will never be complete protection from disturbed attackers, but there must be consequences in light of this new kind of perpetrator. Otherwise there’s only helplessness.”

The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger also focused on the fact that Uka was not part of a terrorist network like al-Qaida.

“It’s enough when a crazy person slips through the cracks,” the Cologne-based paper wrote. “That shouldn’t cause us to break out in panic. But carefree indifference was, is and will remain equally unjustified.”

Frankfurter Rundschau expressed relief that Frankfurt had not been targeted by al-Qaida, however, the left-wing daily was also dismayed a city resident had turned to terrorism.

“There was no terror organization behind Arid Uka. This realization is both calming and unsettling at the same time,” the paper wrote, arguing a strike by al-Qaida could have inflicted far more damage. “But the attack shows how powerless the security authorities really are. Everyone has grown accustom to seeing police officers with bulletproof vests and machine guns. But even they couldn’t stop Arid Uka.”

The centrist daily Der Tagesspiegel said the incident should cause Germans to look hard at their society.

“Questioning the societal atmosphere allowing someone like Arid Uka and other 'holy warriors' to become consumed by deadly illusions is unavoidable,” wrote the Berlin paper. “Although the majority of society is far removed from the terror fantasies of jihadists, it can’t be ruled out that common anti-American resentments have provided fertile ground for the hatred of extremists – whether they are Islamists, neo-Nazis or anti-imperialistic leftists.”

Story continues below…

The right-wing daily Die Welt said Germany’s authorities could not be blamed for not preventing the shooting.

“Who can reproach security officials? It appears Arid Uka was a complete unknown,” the paper wrote. “Early indications point to the young Kosovar spending most of his free time playing violent video games on his computer. One of them was ‘Black Ops’ which entails killing as many soldiers as possible.”

The paper said it would therefore be unwise to think religious extremism was the only cause of the attack.

“Around the world, most Muslims are distancing themselves from violence and terror. The peaceful revolutions in the Egypt and Tunisia have underscored the Muslim wish for freedom and democracy. Their victory was the greatest defeat of terror.”

The Local/AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:41 March 4, 2011 by Landmine
It is impossible to stop one crazy person who is bent on doing what Uka did. As a US citizen living in Germany, I feel safer living in Germany than I do in USA. The German authorities I believe, should not be blamed for this lunatics actions. It is impossible to track everything and everyone who might possibly do such an act.
18:50 March 4, 2011 by Frenemy
"Early indications point to the young Kosovar spending most of his free time playing violent video games on his computer. One of them was ¦#39;Black Ops¦#39; which entails killing as many soldiers as possible."

Well, there you have it folks. Anti-Western radical Islamic doctrine is not to blame, its mostly Call of Duty's fault! lol
01:38 March 5, 2011 by Cheeseburger
Anyone who plays violent video games is training himself, whether he realizes it or not. Just add some ideology and he will not only know what to do but how to do it. It's the crazies who do it alone, for the time being, but wait until the majority of normals are under pressure to act on behalf of some proposed ideal. They will also know what to do.
10:19 March 5, 2011 by germanislamicsociety
It is very unfair that this religion is supporting terrorism. Jihad in the broad sense is a struggle for all aspects of our lives in the world who lived in harmony with God's commands in the Qur'an, for example, we go to work to the office as a part to feed the whole family also called jihad, maintaining good relations with others, do not make other people heartache, to give some wealth to the poor, also called Jihad in terms of Islamic dictionary. The problem is the extreme ideology is not only exist in Islam, still other religions also have extreme flow. Extreme flow is not only the enemy of Germany, but also the enemy of German Muslims
12:44 March 5, 2011 by Frenemy
@Cheeseburger: That's bullsh!t. Playing first-person shooter video games and actually going to special forces school at Bragg, Hereford (SAS), or Calw (KSK) is not the same thing. If it were, militaries around the world would be saving themselves a lot of time and money by just sitting their troops in front of a PS3 or Xbox.

This anti-gaming mentality here in Germany seriously irritates me. There is nothing you can learn in a video game that can't be learned from books, movies or paintballing (which I have also heard is now illegal)...
13:14 March 5, 2011 by jbaker
The US Military(and most other Countries Military) has been using Video Games to train since the games were first designed. They came out for home use so that potential,Future Recruits would be more advanced by the time they get to Bootcamp. Virtual Weapons are a Mainstay for Fighter Pilots,Tank Crews and Army/Marines Commando's Training to Fight in Urban Areas. I am not Anti-Gaming. It is everyones Free Will to play these Games or not. This is just for your information. God Bless Us All.
13:34 March 5, 2011 by Frenemy
@jbaker: of course combat simulations are useful SUPPLEMENTS to actual military training, I'm not arguing with that. All I'm saying is that they are NOT replacements for real-life training and they are NOT catalysts for real-life violence.

The German media and sometime the American media (think Columbine) always tries to argue for a causative relationship between video games and real-world violence. Just because I play Command & Conquer doesn't mean I'm going to be the next Hitler or Napoleon. And if these types of games had existed back then, who knows, maybe Hitler and Napoleon would have enjoyed playing them (but it would not have been the cause of them doing what they did).
14:04 March 5, 2011 by jbaker
@Frenemy: Your Correct. Combat Simmulations are just a small part of Their Training. They Do get to use the Real Weapons and they are very precise at what they aim for. The Military has fully developed Machines and Robots to take the place of Humans. It was used Pinpointingly Accurate In Iraq with the use of Computers,Satellites and Laser Technology. Hitler would have loved the Technology-More Illusionary Control you know. We still do not agree about if these Games are Catalysts for Real-Life Violence. I am OK with that, since we have rights to our own opinions. I used to play Call of Duty(and other games) until I knew it Forwards and Backwards. Have a Great Day.
16:44 March 5, 2011 by Kolokol
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:36 March 5, 2011 by Frenemy
@Kolokol: You're absolutely correct. It would be more accurate to term this an "Islamist attack". Personally I consider him an enemy combatant that doesn't care about the Geneva Conventions (he wasn't wearing a uniform and the soldiers he attacked were unarmed). He should be treated as the cowardly murderer that he is.
18:07 March 5, 2011 by Kolokol
I don't have enough detail, but I don't know what his religion necessarily has to do with it. Are the NATO attacks Christian attacks? One could say that he attacked military behind 'enemy lines', something that the US and NATO does every single day, not to mention Black Ops. Furthermore, I can think of no more cowardly form of warfare than push button drone attacks launched remotely from thousands of kilometers away. Perhaps he should be considered a POW, not the newly invented "enemy combatant"? BTW, the "Enemy Combatant" category reminds me of the D.E.F. (Disarmed Enemy Forces) category created by the US after WWII which was designed to circumvent Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of unarmed, surrendered soldiers who were starved in Eisenhower's Rhine camps. So, at worst, and again without knowing full details, this incident could just another small battle in a very long war and not an indictment against video games, as unseemly as they are, and not an indication of "Islamism" or radicalism. If Germany wants to stop this they could stop being a transit point and collection area for what the other sides sees as enemy forces. If they want to carry on the fight why shouldn't they expect counter attacks?
18:38 March 5, 2011 by Frenemy
1) "Islamist" is not a religion, its a political ideology.

2) I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but according to NATO's rules of engagement, when a Predator/Reaper lets a Hellfire off the rail the target is armed.

3) There is no such thing as "behind enemy lines" in this type of war.

4) By your anti-technology logic, even guns are "cowardly" as you're not up close and personal (like we should be using swords or battle-axes or something).
18:51 March 5, 2011 by Kolokol
To point 1. I can agree but I would call it Islamist extremism or at least use the term extremism somehow so as not to portray an entire religion in one swipe.

To point 2. That's right, it does happen, and "collateral damage" too.

To point 3. Agreed, hence the attack in Frankfurt might be seen in that way.

To point 4. Yes I suppose it matters to the what we are accustomed to, and there certainly doesn't seem to be any trace of chivalry left on the planet. Battle axes would be fine, in fact I would like to see a duel organized between the leaders who too often eagerly push nations into war, in fact, Saddam offered to duel W, twice! Of course it was refused.
19:01 March 5, 2011 by Frenemy
Regarding the first point, I suppose it boils down to semantics, but used in an academic context, extremist political ideology is implied in the term "Islamist", in contrast to the term "Islamic" which references an entire religion, not just the "few bad apples" (as some like to see it).

For the record, I would have LOVED to see a duel between Saddam and Bush!
19:07 March 5, 2011 by Kolokol
Understood regarding "Islamist" my concern is only that I often see it used in an unacademic, catch all way.

Yes, a duel. While maybe not actually solving any of the big issues, geopolitical and otherwise, it would have at least put our overlords mettle to the test and perhaps made them take another hard look at the "intelligence" and the way I see it whoever lost we, and millions of dead, would be the winners, at least for a while.
07:18 March 6, 2011 by Kayak
@Baker und Burger; Where's the article about military training methods for the USA? Can you guys go find another forum for that? Your presence here is drowning out other voices.

I agree with germanislamicsociety; "extreme flow" (extemism) is destructive in all religions.
11:53 March 6, 2011 by olaf.defence
Now, you speak about democracy and freedom for Muslims. Who do you think you are fooling. Now in Egypt alone nearly 70% of the population, after being interviewed, would only accept Sharia law as the new democracy, just as we have it in Gaza, which is also a democracy "Muslim style". Hamas has been voted into power by the public. What the West understands about democracy and freedom is very far removed what Islam understands by freedom and democracy. Did you not notice the many signs in Egypt that killing Jews is mandatory? Wake up Germany. Your time as a democracy is running out in less than 25 years. I know, you are blind to your own creeping disaster.Olaf New Zealand
14:56 March 6, 2011 by jbaker
@Kayak: Sorry that you take offense to my Free Speech. Yes, Extremism in anything(especially Religions) is Destructive. The whole basis of ALL Religions on this Earth is about control of people. About the Military Training- You are not going find articles about Military Training the contains much truth. Mainstream Media sources such as this paper "The Local" and All other Print and Broadcast are controlled by the people who run and control the Military(and Govt's of the World). 90% + of the Earths Population has a "Needs To See To Believe It" Attitude. I write this in This Forum to help Wake Up You and the other 90% + People Reading Here. As People Read our Opinions, They are Awakened to New Insights. Time to Get Out of the Traditional School Mentality. Change is happening if you are on board or not.
12:44 March 7, 2011 by Angry Ami
Salami Bolony's out period!
15:23 March 7, 2011 by wenddiver
Just issue all NATO troops sidearms. Society is safer when Good Men and Women have the power of life and death over evil. Nobody even gives it a second thought when we see Policemen carrying firearms in public. The incident they intervene in nex,t might be the attempted murder of your family or mine by the Jihadis, Islamists, let's just say it members of the Muslim Faith who believe in Murder. We need to get real, these people are at war with the whole world and evil is their lifestyle whatever we call it. Germany has let way too many of these vipers into it's children's home and I fear will pay the price for it in the future, when the Vipers bite the hands that feed them.
09:35 March 8, 2011 by freechoice
hey the libyans rebels are dying out there. when is america going to scramble some F18s to enforce a no fly zone over Libyan airspace?
11:33 March 8, 2011 by moistvelvet
"Anyone who plays violent video games is training himself, whether he realizes it or not"

Reference video games, of course playing CoD is what prepared Arid Uka to commit murder, fortunately he couldn't reload his weapon since hitting "R" on his keyboard had no effect - What a load or rubbish, clearly someone is using this attack to fuel their agenda against certain parts of the gaming industry!

@Freechoice, what on earth has that got to do with this? But the answer to your question is pretty obvious I would have thought... (when they can't get shot down by Libyan AA!!)
12:32 March 8, 2011 by Frenemy
@freechoice: Whats that got to do with the article!? Anyway, I don't think the answer to that is as simple/obvious as @moistvelvet thinks. My guess is when there is full NATO support for air strikes. We've already got AWACS over Libya and thats the first step. But if they're waiting for a completely AA threat-free environment, then the answer is never, because there are too many MANPADS like the Strella SA-7 all over Libya.
17:33 March 8, 2011 by bugger
Seeing this debate makes me wonder about Europe's future. The Islamist said "Allah u Akbar" while killing; he did the murders for the glory of Allah/Islam aka Jihad. Yet the debate on this board rages on the proper use of the world Islam.

Saying all Moslems are not terrorists while true is as pointless as trying to defend racism by saying that all white people are not racists. It seems there are enough Islamists & supremacists in the Moslem community that Islamic terror is a global problem.

You guys better wake up or your goose is cooked. You europeans seem to be brain washed with your media/politicians on the Saudi payolla and taking direction from OIC.

You just have to look at the condition of religious minorities in Moslem countries to find the one way tolerance of Islamists. With your current attitude and birth rates it seems you will be speaking in Arabic in mere decade or two unless you folks take your head out of sand.
19:01 March 8, 2011 by Beachrider
Two distinct conversations are going on here:

1) The German government is not responsible for a lone-killer that decided to murder unarmed American Soldiers while they used public transportation.

2) NATO is responsible for Libyan security and needs to take action to suppress the Libyan Armed Forces that are loyal to the Colonel.

On the first one, they really aren't responsible. The soldiers probably are presumed to capable of caring for themselves, so their security needs to be expanded by them. I don't really know how this comes out, though.

On the second one, NATO needs to meet and publish its analysis of the situation. The American use of AWACS and other information gathering is probably leading up to such a discussion. This will probably end with some kind of NATO action, I don't know if I believe that taking sides is the cure. Whomever we choose, the other folks REALLY won't like it.
15:50 March 9, 2011 by Deviate
Wow, so FPS games are training me. Never realized that. I wonder what they're training me for... Maybe I'm being trained to capture flags? Or perhaps it's implanting the idea that I can respawn endlessly until the countdown timer clicks to 0:00:00? I wonder if I can double-jump like the Scout in TF2. May have to try that after I get off of work tonight.

I've been playing first-person shooters longer than Arid Uka has been alive. Realistic shooters, cartoon shooters, sci-fi shooters, arcade shooters (Call Of Duty), etc. Hell, I even own a couple AK47s that I shoot occasionally in real life at gun ranges. Never once have I latched onto some ideology like some sort of parasite simply because it came along and attempted to sway me.

Idiots are idiots, crazy people are crazy, and those with weak self-esteem will always be susceptible to influence by those with less than good intentions. It's a repeating theme throughout history, and it's not likely to stop any time soon. Correlation does not imply causation, though, so you cannot simply link video game play with real-life violence. At least not if you intend for any intelligent person to take your ramblings seriously.
23:17 March 9, 2011 by wenddiver
@Freechoice- I think for those US Air Crews to be able to provide repeated disaster relief in Muslim Countries like Pakistan every time it Floods or has an earthquake, or for them to provide no fly zones in Muslim Libiya to stop them from being killed by their own governments, or for them to Liberate Muslim Kuwaite from Iraq, or for them to prevent the genocide by Muslims of Muslims in Kurdistan, or prevent the Genocide of Muslims in Kosavo by Serbs like this nut benefited from, A GOOD FIRST STEP WOULD BE FOR THE RELIGION OF PEACE TO STOP MURDERING THE AIR CREWS.

THE MILLIONS OF MUSLIMS IN KOSAVO WHO ARE ALIVE TODAY BECAUSE OF THOSE AIR CREWS MIGHT WANT TO SHOW SOME REMORSE. TOO.
15:39 March 10, 2011 by Deviate
@wenddiver - I'm not entirely sure that we'd know about it (at least not on this side of the pond) if they WERE grieving/showing remorse for the airmen. The media in the States isn't exactly adept at showing positive, compasionate news stories unless it's some puff piece about a stray dog that found its home after 3 months.

It just doesn't sell advertising space like conflict does.
18:00 March 10, 2011 by Beachrider
The biggest problem in establishing NATO's "right" to establish a no-fly zone is that the current legal-authority in Libya controls the air. We don't yet know that Libya will change governments because of the "other group".

I suppose that NATO could determine that the current legal-authority in Libya is destroying the infrastructure and causing economic problems for NATO countries, but this is where it gets really ironic. The cynicism from the irony could be a real problem for NATO, after this.
22:47 March 11, 2011 by wenddiver
Beachrider nobody in NATO has been attacked. Not our problem buddy. It's the natives killing their own. Allah Akbar, fuzzy wuzzys going at it with cheap Russian junk. Americans don't care about this. Which side should we support the Michael Jackson dressing, Soviet client State Dictator (by the way all of them are Dictators)or the crazies who put him in power and now want Sharia Law and Islam to conquer and enslave the world. The middle-East is the poster child for what a bad idea doing away with European colonialism was. These problems were less drastic when some British Imperial policeman with a Webley Pistol supported by the Kings African Rifles or some French Gendarmes supported by the French Foreign Legion handled them. We should let them handle it. Australia, Canada, the US, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore were all Colonies and they are all much nicer places to visit or live.
15:23 March 13, 2011 by frankiep
I remember that there was never any violence in the world before violent video games showed up and ruined everything.
21:33 March 13, 2011 by wenddiver
@frankiep- True, once upon a time the world was relaxing enjying it's First World War and then somebody invented PONG and things got dangerous.
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