Germany would shoot down hijacked plane

17th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 September 2007, Berlin (AFP) - Germany would shoot down a passenger plane that had been hijacked for an attack even though the constitution makes no provision for such an event, Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said Sunday.

17 September 2007

Berlin (AFP) - Germany would shoot down a passenger plane that had been hijacked for an attack even though the constitution makes no provision for such an event, Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said Sunday.

"If there were no other way, I would give the order to shoot it down to protect our people," he told Focus magazine, according to an advance extract from its latest issue.

The federal constitutional court has ruled that a hijacked plane can be shot down providing only the hijackers are on board.

"But if there is a common danger or the democratic order is in danger, other rules apply," Jung said.

"I would like a clarification of the constitutional law, but there is still no consensus in the coalition (government) on this point.

"Therefore, in an emergency, I need to have recourse to a method that goes above the law."

Germany this month arrested three men it said were planning "massive" attacks on the US airbase in Ramstein and other targets.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in a Sunday newspaper the risk of a terror attack remained high despite the arrests of the men who prosecutors said were members of the Islamic Jihad Union, a group with links to Al-Qaeda.

"The terrorist threat has not diminished," Schaeuble told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

"I am no less worried since the arrests. We know that we are in the sights of Islamist terrorism," he said.

Schaeuble said experts were convinced that extremists would one day attack with nuclear weapons.

"Many experts are convinced that it is a question of when, not if," he said.

AFP

Subject: German news

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