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Foiled German Terror Attack

  • September 6th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

frankfurt-airport-3.jpgThe arrest of three men accused of planning terror attacks on Frankfurt Airport, and American installations in Germany, comes just after the huge airport announced record new passenger numbers.

It’s Europe’s third biggest, with 52.8 million passengers p.a., after London Heathrow (67.3 million) and Paris Charles De Gaulle (56.8) … and in the holiday season just ended, it posted its highest monthly figure – 5.19 million passengers during July.

Meanwhile the hunt for more suspects continued …

ARRESTS – THE CONTINUING SEARCH

Information from German authorities:

• Three men were arrested at a holiday house in the small town of Oberschledorn 120 kilometers North of Frankfurt on suspicion of planning massive bomb attacks bigger than those made against trains in London and Madrid.

• Five more were still being sought.

• They had nearly 700kg of hydrogen peroxide, a chemical used for making explosives.

• One tried to get away, and grappled for a pistol with a police officer who was slightly wounded.

• Aged 22, 28 and 29, they were believed to be “very dangerous terrorists”, members of a group called the Islamic Jihad Union, who had trained at camps in Pakistan; it might have had links to the a al-Qaeda movement

• Two were German nationals who had converted to Islam and the third was Turkish.

• The group had been linked to a Mosque in Germany regarded as a base for extremist activities and one of the three had been detained previously for a time, suspected of scouting for a terrorist move in Bavaria.

• The authorities had been monitoring movements of the group, and several others, since December, and decided to act when it appeared there was an “imminent threat” of attack.

• Police raided 41 houses and apartments in several parts of Germany on Tuesday; they have seized evidence including computers — and five more suspects were still being sought.

FRANKFURT THE TARGET

Frankfurt Airport as a vital hub for both traffic within Europe, and intercontinental flights (including now heavy usage for the leg to Singapore and Australia), mounts a heavy internal security operation.

The anxiety for passengers matches strong business optimism, with Frankfurt International currently proclaiming new successes:

“Never before in Frankfurt Airport’s history have so many passengers used Germany’s ‘Gateway to the World’ in a single month,” it has announced.

“Frankfurt Airport (FRA) served 5,191,760 passengers in the reporting month of July 2007 – a new absolute peak figure and an increase of 2.1 percent versus the previous monthly record of July 2006. The top monthly figure of 2006 was 5,085,258 passengers.

“On July 29, 2007, Frankfurt Airport, welcomed 181,464 passengers in a single day. Thus, this summer-vacation Sunday ranked third among the busiest passenger days in FRA’s history…
“Interncontinental traffic proved to be the leading growth driver, with an increase of 3.4 percent. In particular Middle East destinations rose noticeably by 17.7 percent …”

CLIMATE FOR ATTACKS

Surveillance by authorities is being matched by evident increased activity on the other side.

At the beginning of August suitcase bombs were found on local trains at Dortmund and Koblenz before they were detonated.

On Monday, two people with suspected links to al-Qaeda were arrested in Denmark on suspicion of planning a bomb attack.

Reference:

“Search for Suspects Continues After Averted Terror Attacks”, Deutsche Welle News, 6.9.07. www.dw-world.de (6.9.07)

Frankfurt Airport (Home). www.airportcity-frankfurt.com (6.9.07)

“Police arrest 3 in German terror plot”, International Herald Tribune – Online, 5.9.07 www.iht.com (6.9.07)

Frankfurt Airport; Busiest airports in Europe by passenger traffic …
http://en.wikipedia.org (6.9.07)

“Germany foils ‘massive’ terror plot, BBC, 6.9.0. www.bbc.com (6.9.07)

Picture: Frankfurt International Airport, google – airport-technology

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