By Edward Nawotka
Security at this year’s Fair is tighter than in previous years, with bag checks added to the entrances of all Halls. “Security was extended this year in response to multiple video threats made by Al Qaeda promising revenge for Germany’s military presence in Afghanistan” said Frankfurt Book Fair director Juergen Boos, who said it is the same level of security that was put in place in 2001 after the attacks on New York. In recent years, bag checks were limited to Hall 8, where the US, UK and Israeli exhibitors have been located. This year, more than 200 uniformed and plainclothes guards will be in place around the Fair, while activity throughout the grounds is being monitored by closed circuit cameras.
Boos also dismissed any suggestion that the additional security was put in place at the behest of the Chinese government to deter protests. “We have talked with the Chinese about this for three years and they know there will be protests,” said Boos. “There are always protests at the Fair. You cannot control Frankfurt. You can stand in the middle of the Agora and say what you want. The only reason we would ever send security or the police into a situation is if the laws of Germany were violated.”