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CRIME

Crime experts suggest ban on biker gangs

A organization representing German police officers has called for a ban on biker gangs, following a weekend of violence between the Hells Angels and Bandidos, daily Rheinische Post reported.

Crime experts suggest ban on biker gangs
Photo: DPA

“The incidences in Duisburg, Solingen and Essen specifically involve conflicts between organised crime groups that have the highest potential for violence,” acting leader of the BDK criminal investigative alliance, Wilfried Albishausen, told the daily Rheinische Posten.

“In such cases the state needs to show its colours, particularly if one affects one or another follower with the ban.”

Albishausen advocated a change to laws in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where much of the violence between the two gangs has taken place. A state parliamentary committee is set to address the issue this month.

“It must be possible for the police to conduct surveillance of telephone and data exchange when the worst crimes threaten to occur with a court ruling and not only when a crime has already occurred,” he told the paper.

Inside law enforcement sources told the paper that police plan to create a statewide special criminal commission based in Münster to handle increasing criminal activity between the two gangs.

Over the weekend up to 100 police officers were called to a pub in Duisburg to break up a fight between the rival biker gangs, meanwhile a grenade attack followed several hours later.

Around 50 Hells Angels armed with sticks stormed a red-light district bar called The Fat Mexican, which is frequented by rival biker gang the Bandidos, police reported.

The bar was smashed to pieces during the ensuing brawl and several people were injured before police managed to herd everyone outside and separate the two gangs.

News agency AP reported that several hours later someone lobbed a hand grenade through the window of the Hells Angels’ clubhouse in Solingen, where about 20 people were inside.

The grenade did not go off, and police later detonated the device in a controlled explosion.

Later shots were fired at a Hells Angels clubhouse in Solingen, but no one was injured, police said.

Fears of an outbreak of violence between the two biker gangs were sparked in October when a 32-year-old man was shot dead outside the Fat Mexican – which is on the ground floor of the Bandidos’ club building. The dead man was a Bandido, while the suspected killer is a man with connections to the Hells Angels.

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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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