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21 Feb, 2020 13:53

German police to increase protection at mosques after ‘racist’ Hanau attacks – interior minister

German police to increase protection at mosques after ‘racist’ Hanau attacks – interior minister

The surveillance of Germany’s mosques will be increased after mass shootings at two hookah bars this week, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has said, while naming right-wing terrorism as a major security threat.

“The security threat from right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism and racism is very high,” Seehofer told reporters in Berlin on Friday, adding that right-wing terrorism was the “biggest” security issue facing the country.

The minister’s comments come after a 43-year-old man with a suspected far-right background shot up two hookah bars in Hanau in the central state of Hesse. During his rampage on Wednesday, the suspect killed nine patrons, including five Turkish nationals, before apparently killing his mother and taking his own life at his apartment.

Denouncing the shootings as a “racially-motivated terrorist attack,” Seehofer promised to “increase surveillance of sensitive facilities, especially mosques.” He also vowed to boost police presence at train stations, airports and border crossings. Chancellor Angela Merkel had earlier said that racism was the “poison” the society must overcome.

Also on rt.com ‘Rising racism’: Turkey says Europe needs to do more to prevent deadly attacks like Hanau, Merkel says it was likely ‘far-right’

Seehofer emphasized that there has been a string of far-right attacks in Germany in recent months.

In October, a gunman shot two people in Halle in the northeast, after failing to storm a synagogue during the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday. Also last year, a suspect with far-right ties gunned down Walter Luebcke, a local politician from the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

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