After Frankfurt Attack, Germany Checks Possibilities to Detect Online Radicalisation

15 March 2011

Arid U., who killed two US soldiers at Frankfurt Airport, went through an intense phase of radicalisation for around two years prior to the attack. However, this development took place almost exclusively on the internet and was therefore hardly visible to people in Arid U.’s environment nor to security services.

German officials are therefore currently debating how to better monitor Islamist groups online and the radicalisation of their followers. Intelligence officials are putting together a list of Islamist organisations that operate via internet, for instance on social networking sites. Computer surveillance, however, is not always covered by the law, which is why officials are proposing to ban certain Islamist organisations. This would include the radical Frankfurt based group “Dawa Ffm”, of which Arid U. listened to lectures online.