Mainleus: federal police have the perpetrators in their sights

Mainleus: federal police have the perpetrators in their sights

9.10 p.M., schrepfersmuhle parking lot in kleinziegenfelder valley: 200 "soccer fans" (all of them police students from bamberg) arrive in a fully occupied bus. They want to play an explosive deciding match in the waldstadion in weismain.

For the 200 officers of the bayreuth federal police department, who regularly attend such events, the "normal police support, roughing up is a routine operation. As it happens every weekend at football games in the federal republic of germany. Personal checks. Separate angry and violent fans from the peaceful ones. "Fishing" this is called in the jargon. The forces have no idea at this point that the game of football will soon become a minor matter.

"The officers taking part in the exercise do not know what to expect.", explains veit diettrich, who is responsible for public relations at the bayreuth federal police department.

Because while the checks on the fans are still in progress, their mission is changing. Shots reported from mainleus. A "life-threatening operational situation" in the former spinning mill . What exactly happened, the federal police officers do not know. How many perpetrators are at work? Where have they entrenched themselves on the rough land?? There are casualties, maybe even deaths.

10.22 o’clock. Explosions are heard on the land of the spinning mill. Smoke rises, shots echo through the alleys of the old industrial wasteland. A woman covered in blood runs screaming from the complex.

10.30 o’clock. 40 emergency vehicles arrived in mainleus with blue lights flashing. Two "shot police officers" of a patrol of a patrol lie behind a car and call for help. "Here it is important to act quickly but not rashly, to act deliberately and consistently", police director dieter hader, also head of the bayreuth federal police department, explains the background to the exercise.

In light of recent terrorist attacks, officers’ approach has changed. "You have to expect the use of firearms and explosives", says hader. While in the past it was usually enough to incapacitate the perpetrator(s) by shooting them in the arms or legs, today that is often no longer enough. "As a last resort, that means taking out the perpetrator." Nowadays, you also have to expect a lot of injured people in such cases, which is why the treatment of these people is an important part of the training.

The officers, who will advance in several teams, will be closely monitored by so-called observers – including GSG9 forces. They are supposed to point out mistakes from which the forces can learn. "In the following weeks, the exercise will be intensively worked through", continues hader, who will be satisfied at the end of the operation and praise the consistent approach of the forces.

But it is not that far yet. The machine-gun-equipped task forces work their way slowly, having to secure themselves so as not to become targets themselves. Not everyone succeeds. Dead bodies lie again and again officers on the ground. Casualties are recorded especially among the first forces on the scene. They are booby-trapped and under enemy fire.

Only gradually do the officers succeed in eliminating the five perpetrators. They secure the first floor, the basement, the cellar..

While it’s like a detective story in the old spinning mill, the machinery outside is also running at full speed. The accesses to the spinning mill are secured, a safe area is set up in front of the complex for the treatment of injured persons.

11.50 o’clock. The rehearsal is over. There is applause from the observers.

The workers put down the heavy assembly, are glad to get out of the warm hall. There are drinks and food. But this is not the end of the road. In the afternoon, there will be a training session on how to deal with various operational scenarios. Because the next emergency is surely not far away …

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