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Duisburg braces for trial amid biker war

The Local · 29 Mar 2010, 17:19

Published: 29 Mar 2010 17:19 GMT+02:00

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Last week, more than 600 police officers locked down the centre of the Duisburg to prevent a gang war from spilling out onto the streets of the gritty industrial city in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The massive police presence was aimed at discouraging open confrontation between rival bikers – the infamous Hells Angels and Bandidos. The two sides are involved in a bloody turf war across Germany that culminated in the murder of a police officer earlier this month.

“Germany is in the midst of a war between these gangs,” said Thomas Jungbluth, a lead investigator with North Rhine-Westphalia’s state police. “When it comes to defending their turfs, they can be brutal and ruthless.”

The authorities in Duisburg are now afraid the trial of Timur A., a pimp with ties to the Hells Angels, could lead to more violence. Timur A. is accused of shooting dead Rudolf Heinz “Ashley” E., a 32-year old member of the Bandidos, in October 2009. He also faces two counts of attempted manslaughter for narrowly missing two women suspected of working as prostitutes for the Bandidos.

The first day of the trial last week ended prematurely due to a legal technicality postponing it until March 31, but police will be on alert for as long as it continues to prevent another spasm of biker violence.

Immediately after Ashley E.'s death, the Duisburg Chapter of the Bandidos declared war on the Hells Angels on their website by posting: “Expect no mercy.”

The state police believe the Bandidos have already mapped out several routes of revenge.

“A lot of it is about losing face and money,” said Jungbluth. “The Bandidos and Hells Angels are involved in gambling, both legal and illegal, prostitution, arms dealing, extortion, money laundering and drug trafficking.”

But the Hells Angels, with strongholds in nearby Düsseldorf and Dortmund, signaled that they were not in the least afraid of their rivals. There was an uncontrollable melee involving more than 100 bikers last November as Bandidos attempted to storm a Duisburg bordello controlled by the Hells Angels. Police only managed to restore order after several hours of violence and a state-wide call for backup.

That sparked the German authorities to crack down on both gangs with a series of raids, confiscating illegal weapons, drugs, counterfeit money, stolen motorcycle parts and other contraband. Several powerful members from both the Hells Angels and the Bandidos were arrested and taken out of circulation for months, leading to relative calm.

Until March 17. On that day, a Hells Angel allegedly murdered a member of Rhineland-Palatinate's special police unit by firing two shots through the door of his house when officers were trying to serve a search warrant. This led Germany's powerful police union GdP to demand a total ban on bikers gangs.

But Udo Potthoff, a spokesman for the Duisburg police, said that would drive criminal biker elements underground.

“If we let them operate under their colours and from their various headquarters in different cities, at least we’re able to know where they are and keep some control over their actions,” he told The Local.

The biker war began to escalate about six years ago in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Cities like Kiel, Flensburg, Lübeck and Hamburg used to be “controlled” by the Hells Angels, but the Bandidos – who began their march through Europe after gaining their first bridgeheads in Denmark and Sweden in the early to mid 1990’s – are moving southward into the lucrative German market.

The result is an angry and fearful public caught in the crossfire.

Story continues below…

Gina Holstenbrink, 31-year old mother of two young children, lamented the exorbitant cost of security in Duisburg during the 13-day trial.

“They said on the radio that the cost of having this excessive police force here in Duisburg is roughly €180,000 per day,” she said outside of the courthouse. “That’s insane. How many meals can be cooked for kids at kindergarten? How many unemployed folks could start on schooling programs for that kind of money?”

But the authorities are determined not let the bikers have any opportunity for violence.

“We won´t be caught with our guard down, that's for sure,” said Potthoff. “We'll be here with those big numbers, each and every day.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:36 March 29, 2010 by berlinski
Big bikes, small dicks! Take the bikes away and let them walk to work.
19:29 March 29, 2010 by Prufrock2010
You mean they work?!
19:46 March 29, 2010 by peschvogel
No need to work In Germany when the govt will pay you to stay at home. Most likely this also pays for their motorfahrad's also. Schade..
20:32 March 29, 2010 by lordkorner
Seriously,these guys should be shown a field somewhere out of the way and told to get stuck into one another,let them fight it out as long as they want ,after a day or two those that survive should be locked up. This would also work well with inbred football hooligans .
21:20 March 29, 2010 by peschvogel
This guy looks like the future of Germany...Suess...
22:35 March 29, 2010 by dbert4
Another example of American cultural "exported."
22:40 March 29, 2010 by peschvogel
dbert4: Yet, you are wrong again. This genius was homegrown. He probably has a blonde hair, blue eyed German girlfriend... Schade...
23:46 March 29, 2010 by saucymugwump
Arrest all of the bikers, radical Muslims, neo-nazis, anarchists, rapists, and child molesters. Bring them all to a football stadium. Have them stand in the middle of the pitch while machetes are placed on the edge of the field. Only leave machetes for 1/2 of the people there. Then say GO!
00:02 March 30, 2010 by peschvogel
Sounds very Romanesque.
00:55 March 30, 2010 by berlinski
That muppet in the photo has managed to look both stupid and sinister. He really has pulled that one off. If he is a leader of a bike gang, it must be a case of being a 40 Watt in a room full of 30 Watt bulbs.
03:14 March 30, 2010 by watso
Don't forget to through the child rapest for the past 100 years or so, on many continents - Catholic priest gangs and their supporters.
11:17 March 30, 2010 by Essertpitay
Born to be wild...and romanesque...
12:26 March 30, 2010 by berlinski
One ugly Mother******. But I am sure he will attract a boyfriend in jail.
13:31 March 30, 2010 by Joshontour
dbert reminds me of a jaded ex. An American, who does nothing but complain about America. No matter what the conversation, it is America's fault. It is irrational, but as mentioned, behaviour usually exhibited by someone who was hurt by their ex. Still secretly in love, but has nothing good to say about him/her, and cannot have a conversation without bringing them up. I am starting to think he just a troll.
15:30 March 30, 2010 by dbert4
@Joshontour - Well I couldn't have referred to the German biker gang manifestation as a UK cultural export. Those exports are limited to pub fighting and apparently you. And you don't look dangerous or destructive enough.
17:06 March 30, 2010 by mixxim
Perhaps we could start a new mod and rocker war in germany to show that anything the US can do we can do better?
20:26 March 30, 2010 by peschvogel
Joshontour :

dbert4 never got love from his daddy. Schade...And yes, he is a troll.
22:13 March 30, 2010 by dbert4
@peschvogel - You strike me as one that possibly "got" too much LOVE from your daddy, step-daddy, mothers boyfriend or maybe all of them?
23:37 March 30, 2010 by peschvogel
@dbert4: I live in the US where family values still hold true. Yes my dad and mom gave me much love. Not like in Germany where anything goes and kids get abused...

There are tens of millions of Muslims in the European continent and the number is on the increase. This is the clear indication that the European continent will be converted to Islam. Europe will one day be a Muslim continent.
00:47 March 31, 2010 by Prufrock2010
peschvogel = taliban. No question about it. I'm forwarding these blog entries to the FBI. Peschvogel says he lives in the U.S. Jurisidiction! Hurray!
09:37 March 31, 2010 by eads

I beg your pardon

but R u a Jew?
11:04 March 31, 2010 by Talonx
Eads, in the context of a webpage that often has racist english speaking folk posting on it, your question seems a bit suspect.
14:54 March 31, 2010 by Wahrheitsbegriff
This is the thanks Germany gets for loosing WW2 and over 10 million of its ciizens? (8 million in uniform annother 2 million killed as civillians).

This is the reward Germany gets for abandoning Naziism?

Is this kind of Slut-Ameicanization the pride of all Europe?
18:26 March 31, 2010 by Hunt2871
"This is the reward Germany gets for abandoning Naziism?"

No, this is the reward that Germany gets for following the National Socialists.
23:47 March 31, 2010 by Prufrock2010
This just isn't as good without our comrade peschvogel. Maybe he'll reappear under another identity.
19:19 April 5, 2010 by kinggeorge629@gmail.com
Get rid of the face hair then give him a ww2 ss uniform and he would look like the perfect nazi storm trooper.
20:31 April 5, 2010 by cocovelvet
Mr. Nice guy........ is this how the face of brutality seem to look like in the 21st century !!?? Geezzzz !!!!......
15:41 April 6, 2010 by ttnp3
#5: Arrest all of the bikers, radical Muslims, neo-nazis, anarchists, rapists, and child molesters. Bring them all to a football stadium. Have them stand in the middle of the pitch while machetes are placed on the edge of the field. Only leave machetes for 1/2 of the people there. Then say GO!

I am a biker, and have been since I was old enough to have a licence. I love bikes and I love riding. Does this automatically qualify me to be put into a foodball stadium with 50/50 chance of getting a machetes?
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