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CRIME

Tokio Hotel attack linked to stalker gang

A group of “militant stalkers” has been following the German rock band Tokio Hotel for the past six months, which may have prompted star Tom Kaulitz’s attack against a female fan last week, daily Bild reported Saturday.

Tokio Hotel attack linked to stalker gang
Photo: DPA

Last Wednesday, the 19-year-old Kaulitz was caught on tape throwing a lit cigarette at the 21-year-old woman, before punching her in the face and throwing her to the ground at a Hamburg gas station. Kaulitz, who headlines the band with his twin brother, Bill, then sped off in his Audi R8.

According to Bild, the woman belongs to a French stalker gang called “The Afghans on Tour.” The gang has four members, all women, who wear masks or wrap their faces in scarves. A profile of a 23-year-old woman from Hamburg on the MySpace that’s listed with the same name shows photos of a woman with her face wrapped in a Palestinian scarf.

The gang sent threatening letters to the group, including one seen by Bild that promised “a little nightmare” for Tokio Hotel and went on to say, “Caution, caution. We’re unhappy. We’re getting impatient. DO YOU UNDERSTAND US?”

The gang has also staked out houses where band members live, thrown eggs at their cars and threatened members of the band’s family, the newspaper reported. After a threat against Kaulitz’s mother, the band filed for a restraining order against members of the gang.

Hamburg police reported last week they were investigating Kaulitz for possible charges of bodily harm.

Tokio Hotel released their first album “Schrei” (Scream) in May 2006 and sold some 600,000 copies in six days in Germany. The Magdeburg-based teen group also quickly became a major success in France, Austria and Switzerland. The band’s first US single was released in late 2007.

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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