Police were able to successfully terminate an 18-hour hostage standoff at Hamburg Airport when they apprehended a Turkish-speaking father suspected of kidnapping his 4-year-old daughter and attempting to board a flight to Turkey.
According to reports, the man, 35-year-old “Saleem E.” who broke through an obstacle onto the tarmac of the Hamburg, Germany airport, causing the grounding of several hundred flights and the sheltering of over 3,200 passengers, gave up to the police and surrendered his daughter, who he had been holding hostage in a car.
After a custody disagreement with his ex-wife, Saleem allegedly took his child Aslihan from her mom, tossed at least two blazing Molotov cocktails out of his vehicle, and fired bullets into the air.
Although the conversations took place in Turkish, it is still unknown if Saleem was a native of Turkey or a member of Germany’s huge Turkish heritage diaspora.
Police in Hamburg said the man had left the vehicle with his daughter after he turned himself in. Without any resistance, police were able to take him into custody. The girl wasn’t injured.
According to Sandra Levgrün, a police spokesperson, officers will go through the vehicle to determine whether there are any explosives.
The police said the Buxtehude man’s custody issue with his ex-wife was the impetus for the crime. He took his daughter on an unauthorized trip to Turkey as early as 2022. He was already the subject of a child abduction investigation, which resulted in a fine for him.
Some have stated that the event, which is not being investigated as a terrorist attack, shows how vulnerable potential targets like airports are.
According to aviation expert Heinrich Großbongardt, who spoke with the media, neither Hamburg Airport nor any other German airport is secure. Terrorists have always prioritized attacking airports. Planes with thousands of gallons of kerosene and hundreds of people on board sit on the runways. According to Großbongardt, airport management and officials are highly naïve.