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.

Reaction to Frankfurt Attack: US Officials Urge Caution after Airport Shooting

4 March 2011

Although German and US investigators are still looking into the shooting at Frankfurt Airport that left two US airmen dead, German officials have played down the need for more security at US installations and public places. American officials cautioned military personnel and civilians to remain vigilant, and published a self-help antiterrorism guide online.

Two days after two US airmen were killed and two others wounded by a lone gunman at Frankfurt Airport, German authorities said Friday that the incident had not prompted an increase in security at most of the country’s airports and train stations.

On Thursday, the US Army Garrison Stuttgart posted “A Self-Help Guide to Antiterrorism” online that was produced by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in September 2010. The 60-page manual gives US military personnel and their families instructions on how to avoid being the victim of terrorist attacks. In one section it describes “Indicators of a Potential Active Shooter,” such as making “anti-American statements asserting that US police and authority is illegitimate.” It advises the Americans on how to evacuate, or to find shelter “out of the active shooter’s view.”

The Radical Islamist Roots of the Frankfurt Attack

3 March 2011

Arid U., who has confessed to the Wednesday shooting of two US airmen at the Frankfurt airport, was an unfriendly loner, say his neighbors. But his list of Facebook friends indicate that the 21-year-old had several contacts with radical Islamists.

Indications are mounting that the assault on a bus carrying US soldiers at the Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday afternoon was an Islamist terror attack. The alleged perpetrator, Arid U., who admitted on Thursday to having carried out the attack, appears to have had extensive contact with radical Islamists via his Facebook page. SPIEGEL ONLINE has also learned that the shooting, which killed two American airmen and injured two others, possibly came after the gunman, identified as Arid U., was unable to leave Germany and travel to Afghanistan. Instead, the 21-year-old airport employee opted to attack US troops in Germany, according to a jihadist website. No proof for the assertion is offered, but the jihadists claim to have been in contact with acquaintances of Arid U.