Incident in bus 609 Praying passenger causes major police operation

Bonn · A strange incident caused a major police operation in bus 609. A woman felt threatened, because a fellow passenger kept mumbling „Allahu Akbar“.

An incident in bus 609 caused a large police operation on Wednesday last week when a passenger felt threatened because of the prayers of a Muslim man. On enquiry, the police said that they were originally called because of the claims that a black passenger had thrown a rucksack into the bus while shouting „Allahu Akbar“.

That had been proven as untrue during the investigation. As spokesperson Frank Piontek said, a female passenger had complained to the bus driver about the „strange behavior“ of a man who was sitting next to her.

The man had frightened her because „he kept mumbling ‚Allahu Akbar‘“. „God is great“ is a set phrase being used in Islam a lot. The bus driver advised the passengers at the Verdistraße to leave the bus due to a technical defect. Also, he informed the police. Because of the suspicious person on the bus and a possible threat, a large number of officers were called out to the western part of the city. Meanwhile all the passengers got out of the bus, only the suspect remained seated.

When the police arrived, he tried to flee, but was held back by the bus driver. A melee ensued. Police officers intervened but the suspect fiercely resisted. Police officers were spat at and insulted. At the police headquarters, state security got involved. As it turned out, the man had not threatened anyone precisely.

According to Piontek there were indications of a mental abnormality in the man, who seemed „slightly confused“. The 21-year-old stems from Kenia and lives in Germany for many years, holding a residence title for specific purposes. The man was released from custody but is facing a charge for obstructing police officers in the course of their duty.

Original text: Axel Vogel Translation: Mareike Graepel

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