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Hesse promises action after airport attack

The Local · 7 Mar 2011, 15:54

Published: 07 Mar 2011 15:54 GMT+01:00

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US military buses loading and unloading servicemen at the busy air hub will no longer use public roads after 21-year-old Kosovar Arid Uka carried out the attack on March 2.

Rhein said also said the authorities would decide within 14 days whether to ban the Islamist Dawa organization. The group's website was allegedly visited by the shooting suspect during the short time it took for him to become radicalized.

The conservative politician and leader of the upcoming state interior ministers’ conference also said he would appeal for more online surveillance of suspected Islamists.

Rhein appealed to federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and new Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich to support such a measure.

While such things as telecommunications data retention would not have prevented this particular attack, because the suspect radicalized so quickly, it remains an indispensable tool for security officials in certain cases, he said.

Further discussion of terrorism surveillance will be a key discussion topic during the interior ministers’ conference, he said.

Meanwhile the Frankfurt airport on Monday denied a media report that security cameras malfunctioned during last week's attack.

"The cameras here worked, and the footage recorded has been given to the investigators," Thomas Uber, a spokesman for airport operator Fraport, told news agency AFP in response to a weekend report in the daily Die Welt that they had failed.

Uka shot dead two airmen and seriously injured two others after boarding their military bus, shouting "Allahu Akhbar" ("God is Greatest") as he did so, according to German federal prosecutors.

He then allegedly put his handgun to a fifth serviceman but it jammed. Pursued by this serviceman, he fled into the terminal building where he was overpowered and arrested.

Prosecutors said on Friday that he told investigators the attack was to avenge what he saw as atrocities by US troops in Afghanistan.

If confirmed as such would be the first Islamic extremist attack on German soil.

There are however no indications that the alleged gunman, whom investigators believe was radicalised in large part via the Internet, had links to any "international terrorist groups," prosecutors said.

Story continues below…

Late Thursday, the US Air Force identified the dead servicemen as Senior Airman Nicholas Alden, 25, of Williamston, South Carolina, and Airman First Class Zachary Cuddeback, 21, of Stanardsville, Virginia.

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

A month ago German authorities had announced that additional security measures imposed late last year in response to indications of an imminent "terrorist" attack were set to be gradually scaled back.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:07 March 7, 2011 by wenddiver
If America hadn't mobilized it's Army the World to save them, this Kosavar would be dead in a Serb ditch. Help is never appreciated by Vipers.
17:07 March 7, 2011 by William Thirteen
Hesse contracts worker to build better barn door. No word on location of horse.
19:56 March 7, 2011 by auslanderus
It's a bit late now to increase security after 2 people are dead.
20:09 March 7, 2011 by catjones
If only the Frankfurt Airport were run as perfectly as the company I work for.
22:43 March 7, 2011 by maxbrando
I beleve it it time to strike terror in the hearts of terrorists. Have the German government put into law a provision which says that any organization which is declared a terrorist oganization, auomatically means that any of its members automatically will have their citizenships revoked and its members deported to their country of origin. Native born Germans are subject to indictment and trial/deportment to their parents country of origin for being members of a criminal organization.

This should scare the s... out of them because the last thing any of these creatures want is to leave the West.
09:28 March 8, 2011 by freechoice
can they stop using the same school bus which can be easily identified as americans?
10:13 March 8, 2011 by elboertjie
@maxbrando: You can't trust any government to classify a group of people as terrorists as this will be biased and agenda driven.

Let's say they don't like people who dissent and classify them as terrorists, those people will loose all form of rights and deported or jailed?

You can never ever trust government as this exalts them above people and thus above law. What's next, they revoke habeas corpus? Oh wait, this nightmare has already been implemented in the USA with the Patriot Act I and II.
10:34 March 8, 2011 by Angry Ami
Man, why is there even a debate here, if the Germ govt is going to ban anything on the right, then they'd better ban islamic hate as well, and don't give me this BS about religious freedom, these dirtbags aren't doing anything religious, it's political, they just use religion to hide behind, they want to take over the world and turn it into a global caliphate with sharia law, this is their sick fantasy that they JO about, and the only thing the understand is force, power, you cannot negotiate with them, reasoning will not work, their ability to reason was wiped out by Genghis Khan when he invaded Baghdad, and what is left is the islam of today, void of intellectuals, science and philosophy and spirituality, it's just about politics, the religion has been hijacked by the scum of the middle east, and good muslims are too afraid to stand up to these bastards, so if they won't then we'd better.
16:55 March 8, 2011 by snowey
I have always been surprised to see American personnel in there uniforms wandering around Terminal one at Frankfurt Airport. If they were required to use civilian dress they would be much harder to identify & possibly some lives would be saved.
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