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Wednesday March 9th 2011
News analysis
Newsbook
The Frankfurt shootings
The Kosovo connection
Mar 3rd 2011, 16:25 by B.U. | BERLIN & T.J.
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GERMANY had been nervously bracing itself for its first post-September 11th attack by Islamist jihadis. Now it seems to have happened. Yesterday afternoon a man wielding a pistol opened fire on a busload of American troops at Frankfurt airport, killing two and severely wounding another pair. The suspect, Arif Arid Uka, a 21-year-old of Kosovo Albanian origin, was arrested after he ran into the terminal building. His gun reportedly jammed, which may have averted worse carnage.

Mr Uka appears to have succeeded where others failed. Although Germany has until now been spared Islamist violence, it has been a hub of terrorist activity and, in part because of its participation in the Afghanistan war, a frequent target of threats. The September 11th attacks in the United States were largely planned and executed by the members of the so-called “Hamburg cell.”
In 2007 police arrested the four-member “Sauerland Group” before they could launch their car bombs. They are said to have planned attacks on airports and on the American air base at Ramstein, a big logistics base for the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and the destination of the soldiers killed yesterday. In 2006 two men planted suitcase bombs on trains leaving Cologne; they failed to explode.
Investigators have found evidence that Mr Uka had Islamist leanings, including a Facebook page that lists him as a fan of sites such as "Reign of Islam." News reports quote his uncle as saying that he had worked at the airport. The fear is that Mr Uka may be part of a cell that is planning further attacks. He has apparently confessed to the murders—one report said he was driven by anger about German involvement in Afghanistan—but says he acted alone.
Mr Uka's family hails from Mitrovica, a Kosovar town divided into an Albanian south and a Serb-controlled north, although many reports say he himself was born and raised in Germany.
Most Albanians, inside and outside Kosovo, are fanatically pro-American following the US-led NATO attack on Serbia in 1999 that led, eventually, to Kosovo's declaration of independence. There is a large statue of Bill Clinton in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital. The influence of the American ambassador on local politics there remains enormous.
The Kosovar government immediately issued a statement describing yesterday's attack as a “macabre act” carried out by an individual "acting against the tradition of the people of Kosovo, who will always and forever be grateful to the United States of America”. Zeri, a newspaper, headlined its story on the murder "Shame" while this morning’s edition of Koha Ditore says that the murders are a "stain" on Kosovo’s already-damaged reputation, a reference to recent allegations of election fraud and a grisly organ-harvesting scandal implicating the country's prime minister.
If Mr Uka was radicalised in Germany rather than in Kosovo, some may draw parallels with other cases, in particular the so-called Fort Dix plot. In 2009 three ethnic-Albanian brothers from Debar in western Macedonia were convicted in the US of being part of an Islamist plot to attack Fort Dix, an army base in New Jersey. The brothers, all in their twenties, had left Macedonia as children, and reports suggested that they had never been back.
The attack may also bolster concerns in Germany that the country is failing to integrate its immigrants. Last October Angela Merkel, the chancellor, said that multiculturalism had "utterly failed" in Germany.
But there are no immediate signs of alarm. Many German newspapers did not make the attack their lead story this morning. The new interior minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, seems inclined to follow the cautious policy of his predecessor, Thomas de Maizière (who left the job today to become defence minister after the fall of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg). In his first day on the job Mr Friedrich has declined to raise the terrorist threat level.
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Basquiat wrote:
Mar 3rd 2011 5:27 GMT
I fail to see the "Kosovo connection" here. Uka was born, raised and educated in Germany; it is doubtful if he even holds Kosovar citizenship (knowing that his family emigrated out of Kosovo 40 years ago, and that Germany doesn't allow dual citizenship). If this was a religiously-motivated attack, he was "trained" and brainwashed in Germany - not Kosovo.
I realize bashing Kosovo has become the new fad, but this is just too much.
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sherryblack wrote:
Mar 3rd 2011 5:44 GMT
Apparently muslims in Germany become radicalised.
The 9/11 terrorist attack was planned by middle-class muslims in Germany who became radicalised after living in Germany. The Hamburg cell as it is known.
Now we have another case of muslim who became radicalised in Germany and went on a killing spree against American soliders.
As long as they are not killing Germans, it appears the Germany government doesn't give it much importance.
I wonder what the reaction in Germany would have been if the situation was reversed and muslims living in USA had executed a 9/11 like terrorist attack in Germany killing 3000 people?
Germany would have blamed the USA for radicalising the muslims and the USA would have blamed as a racist rotten society for turning educated middle-class muslims into fanatics.
But since it is Germany that is radicalised muslims who are killing Americans - no big deal for Germans.
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Schadefreude wrote:
Mar 3rd 2011 8:48 GMT
Sherryblack
Spot on. Germany has now proved itself to be not only anti american but a safe harbour for terrorsts.
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Schadefreude wrote:
Mar 3rd 2011 8:56 GMT
Germany will do what it does best...Nothing...And then wonder why the German race is no longer in 30 years when Sharia law is the law of Islamic Germany. The trend can no longer be reversed as the officials in Berlin has alarmingly annoucned years ago.
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Marie Claude wrote:
Mar 3rd 2011 9:20 GMT
lots of little nobles in Germany's government !
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Spectacularj1 wrote:
Mar 3rd 2011 10:17 GMT
I don't think Kosovo is being bashed. The greater Kosovo connection the less the reason to attack the US, Kosovars shouldn't have any bone to pick with US - quite the opposite in fact.
I think the important point here is the radicalization that took place in Germany, and the failure of different cultures -especially Islamic- to integrate with German (and European) society.
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sherryblack wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 12:13 GMT
It was only recently that the German government closed the Hamburg Mosque where the 9/11 hijackers became radicalised - years after the terrorist attack that murdered 3000 people.
So, I don't expect the German government to do much in this case anyway.
Apparently there are also 100 German citizens with German passports of Turkish/middle- eastern heritage in Al Qaeda traning camps along the Afghan/Pakistan border.
No problem, American drones do the dirty work for the Germans over there while radicalised muslim youths go on killing sprees against Americans in Germany.
If the USA withdrew from Afghanistan, it will be Germany that would be bearing the brunt of those German citizens in Al Qaeda traning camps.
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derechteversus wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 12:16 GMT
The way I see it, that was no attack against germans or germany, a maniac killed 2 american soldiers, which means it was an attack against american soldiers. No german was harmed and no property destructed, we have to pay the police bill but in the end this could have happened in the U.S. or anywhere else, which means: we dont really care.
@sherryblack
Oh those lucky U.S. citizens, all they have to fear are those christian mexicans. Imagine those people where muslim and think again.
If the german government would have been wise, they would have paid some money to other NATO countries and let them send their troops to Afghanistan. Just the way they did all along the cold war. Stupid us getting involved in this exitless slaughterhouse. 48 of our boys died to satisfy the average american hillbilly's seek for revenge, what a pitty.
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Spectacularj1 wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 5:15 GMT
derechteversus - 48 is 48 too many, but far less than the USA, UK, Canada, and France. Being a big country in the world means pulling your weight, militarily Germany hasn't pulled any since WWII. The fact is that the rest of the world could use your help.
Are you so ready and willing to turn your back on the countries that were standing by to make sure the Western half of your country didn't fall under Soviet rule?
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sherryblack wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 6:04 GMT
@derechteversus
"we dont really care."
You better care because this man was a German citizen.
A terrorist act committed in Germany by a German citizen - this could only have happened in Germany.
"48 of our boys died to satisfy the average american hillbilly's seek for revenge.'
They died because significant number of radicalised German citizens of muslim faith with German passports are in Al Qaeda training camps and those men pose a potential threat to Germany.
Who are you kidding. It is Germanny that has problems integrating its muslim immigrants and it is Germany that has a remarkable track record for radicalising muslims.
Germany has more to fear from a Taliban recapture of Afghanistan which would give sanctuary to Al Qaeda.
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sherryblack wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 6:28 GMT
@derechteversus"
" Oh those lucky U.S. citizens, all they have to fear are those christian mexicans. Imagine those people where muslim and think again. "
Oh dear, don't German schools teach critical thinking skills?
The USA has an ILLEGAL immigration problem on its border. It has a problem with ILLEGAL immigration.
Germany has integration problems with legally residing immigrants in Germany who happen to be of muslim faith.
Your muslim immigrants are LEGAL residents of Germany.
Comparing ILLEGAL immigrants with LEGAL residents or German citizens of muslim faith - comparing apples to oranges.
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derechteversus wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 7:38 GMT
@Spectacularj1
Do you know, where french missiles were stationed at the cold war? Do you know they had a range just to reach germany? A battlefield that would have been nuked and bombed to the ground by its allies to keep the russians away. Fulda Gap and Hof Gap get a new dimension, if you happen to live there. Let`s face it: Germany was not integrated into NATO to defend them, but to keep the russians at bay.
@sherryblack
"You better care because this man was a German citizen."
So what? Do I need to feel guilty, because I happen to be german, too? Do you feel responsible for all those loonies, who happen to be from your country?
Well, you have to be right about the radicalization part. I bet it isnt the bombing of innocent people in Iraq or Afghanistan, that drove those muslims mad, but the welfare cheques they happen to cash in germany.
Those illegal immigrants must be a lot easier to handle, you can just put them into cages and send them back, or shoot them at the border right away. Integration is so much easier if your guest does not tell their daughters to hide inside the flat, dont go to swimming lessons in school and threat to kill them for the sake of the familie`s pride if she looks at german boys. It is so much easier, when their sons are not driven by a misunderstood sense of pride and chauvinism, in a society that does not adhere to these values. And things get even worse the higher the concentration, you can handle and integrate some people, but you meet your limits, when they form a society of their own. Integration is so much easier, when your daughter isnt called a whore for wearing a skirt, when you can tell someone to stop smoking in the subway without being called a Nazi. Dont talk about things you have no clue about.
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sherryblack wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 8:06 GMT
@sherryblack
"So what? Do I need to feel guilty, because I happen to be german, too? "
So, now you have changed the topic. First it was that you didn't care and now that you don't feel guilty.
Of course I care about innocent people getting murdered. If you don't than prehaps you are very selfish? It has got nothing to with with guilt but feeling empathy. Prehaps you can only feel empathy for Germans?
"you have to be right about the radicalization part. I bet it isnt the bombing of innocent people in Iraq or Afghanistan,"
Nice try but the 9/11 hijackers got radicalised in Germany long before Afganistan and Iraq. It appears you have a scapegoating mentality as well. So who will you blame for the radicalization of the 9/11 hijackers?
"Those illegal immigrants must be a lot easier to handle, you can just put them into cages and send them back, or shoot them at the border right away."
You are confusing Europe with America. Thats what Europe does, it even has agreements (bribes) with North African dictators to prevent immigrant boats from reaching European shores.
In America, ILLEGAL immigrants work and live freely , marching by the millions demading rights (even the right to vote) and social benefits. Never seen illegal immigrants do that in Europe have you? Probably because they are locked up in cages . The BBC had a program on it recently. Yes you used the correct term - cages.
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Joey the Reader wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 2:38 GMT
Sherryblack writes: "I wonder what the reaction in Germany would have been if the situation was reversed and muslims living in USA had executed a 9/11 like terrorist attack in Germany killing 3000 people?" ----- Which raises the question - why did USA invade Iraq and Afghanistan, instead of Germany? Say US Muslims attack Germany, and in return, Germany invades Poland and France, for exaample. Doesn't make sense, right?
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sherryblack wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 6:22 GMT
@Joey the Reader
Don't project the German mentality onto Americans.
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JelloB wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 9:56 GMT
That's what you get for helping terrorists carve out their own country. The Taliban used to be friends too.
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Tomas Marny wrote:
Mar 4th 2011 10:12 GMT
@sherryblack
It’s pretty ridiculous how you keep insisting on the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants – an illegal immigrant can become legal and vice versa by a single decision made by a legislative body of the given country. But it does not change their essence.
It’s very similar to our previous discussion about the Romani issue. Although I find it quite useful that you’re now “grilling” countries whose representatives do not have much understanding for the troubles that CEE countries face with inadaptable people from various minorities who more or less accidentally hold citizenships of that countries, because I hope it will make the representatives more empathic for the future, I still must insist that any solution here is very difficult if the state is required take responsibility for its citizenship holders but any efficient ways to influance them and enforce their compliance with the country’s standard way of life (I don't want to use the word assimilation) are considered as discrimination and violation of rights of cultural minorities.
Or shall CEE countries arrest all Romani people to prevent their more or less natural desire for migration to other parts of the world like Canada or Western Europe?! Or shall Germany arrest all Muslim immigrants to prevent them committing deeds stemming from their more or less natural anti-American stance?! Please, tell us the magic solution you have in your recipe book ;-)
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sherryblack wrote:
Mar 5th 2011 1:30 GMT
@Tomas Marny
If you think muslim immigrants are only anti-American, than you are living in a delusional world.
Madrid, London were targets too or have you forgotten?
France had Islamic terrorists attacks long before 9/11.
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Schadefreude wrote:
Mar 5th 2011 3:45 GMT
Tomas Marny
I wouldnt be so sharp with the tongue. You need to realize the very poor demographics in your country. You will DEFINATELy have terrorist attacks within Germany against Germans soon. If you want to do the German thing, and not claim responsibility and keepo telling yourself its an American problem, you will be sorry. You are now a target. Radicalization against Americans in Germany are also attributable to your media's anti American rhetoric and your citizens hate for Americans. You are engaged now but your slacker past will never allow a German to denounce radicalizationn for they know they will be a hostage in their own native land. And thats what is happening. Germans are no longer free in Germany. They must soon accept Sharia law and the fact that Germans are a dying breed. No cloning will replace them. Berlin has even said that by 2030 Germany will be predominatly an Islamic State. Schade
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Spectacularj1 wrote:
Mar 5th 2011 10:28 GMT
derechteversus -
That was France not the US, and France wasn't part of NATO for most of the Cold War. The US sure as hell didn't station hundreds of thousands of soldiers in Germany just so that the French could nuke them.
You need to work on seeing things from the other's point of view.
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