14 Nov 2011

Neo-Nazi group uncovered in Germany

Germany warns of a new form of far-right terrorism responsible for 10 murders, after a second arrest is made and a suspect hands herself into the police.

Neo-Nazi group uncovered in Germany (getty)

A far-right group, which refers to itself as the Nationalist Socialist Underground (NSU), has claimed responsibility for the deaths of eight ethnic Turks, one ethnic Greek and a policewoman in Germany between 2000 and 2007.

The group was uncovered after a suspected accomplice – a woman named by the police as ‘Beate Z’ – handed herself into police last week. A 37-year-old man was also arrested in Hamburg on Sunday on suspicion of being a member of the group.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said: “Now it is all about finding out whether or not more people were involved, whether there is some kind of network and finding out what dimensions all this has.

“From all the evidence we have so far, it looks like we are experiencing a new form of far-right terrorism.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the murders were shameful for Germany.

“We must assume that this is right-wing extremism in the worst form, and it is shaming that such a thing can happen in our country,” she told German television.

Botched bank robbery

Police had been investigating Beate Z’s role in an attempted bank robbery when she blew up the flat she rented in the eastern town of Zwickau and confessed her involvement in the bank robbery to the police. The bodies of two men also suspected of the bank robbery and linked to Beate Z, were then found in a caravan in Eisenach.

We must assume that this is right-wing extremism in the worst form, and it is shaming that such a thing can happen in our country. Chancellor Angela Merkel

Investigators searched the burned-out house which was used by the two men and Beate Z and found guns used in the murder of the policewoman and of the nine immigrants, many of whom ran kebab stalls and were shot in the face during the day.

Filmed confession

Police also found a home-made 15 minute film recorded on DVD that the group intended to send to Islamic organisations and the media.

The German magazine Spiegel printed stills from the film that shows murder victims’ bodies and montages with the cartoon character Pink Panther, pointing out the killing scenes.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said that he would be re-examining all unsolved crimes with a suspected far-right connection dating back to 1998.

Protesters, many from a Turkish background, gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Sunday to protest against neo-Nazis. Opposition politicians expressed anger that the cell went undetected for so long.