Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Right-Wing Terrorist Group Surfaces in Germany, Leads Help Close Other Cases

German police arrested a new suspect Sunday (November 13) following the discovery of an extremist group believed to have killed 10 people in what appears to be a new form of far right terrorism. Police arrested a 37-year-old German on suspicion of belonging to the right-wing extremists, and prosecutors labeled the National Socialist Underground group a terrorist organization.

Prosecutors suspect that the group, which was discovered only last week, of having murdered eight people of Turkish origin, one Greek national and a German policewoman over the past decade.

COMMENT: Prosecutors are investigating whether the new suspect, identified only as Holger G. in line with German privacy laws, was directly involved in the group's killings. The man is believed to have helped the group's other three known members by providing them with documents and vehicles, one of which was apparently used in the killing of a police officer. Two of the other group members are dead while the third turned herself in to police last week.

The group is suspected of having murdered eight Turks and one Greek in several German cities between September 2000 and April 2006, as well as killing a police officer in the southwestern city of Heilbronn in April 2007. The Interior Ministry has ordered a review of all violent crimes since 1998 for cases in which investigators suspected a xenophobic motivation.

The 2007 Heilbronn killing also has long been a mystery. The 22-year-old policewoman was fatally shot in the head in a park and a fellow officer was also seriously wounded by gunfire. Last week, both officers' service weapons were found in a burning mobile home in central Germany where two men were found dead, in what police have said was an apparent suicide. The pistol used in the earlier killings was later found at the decedents apartment in the eastern city of Zwickau, which also burned out last week following an explosion. The two men, identified only as Uwe B. and Uwe M., are believed to have had links to far-right circles at the end of the 1990s, along with a female acquaintance, identified as Beate Z., who turned herself in to police on Tuesday (November 8).

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