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No Surprise Here: German Intelligence Funding Neo-Nazis

COMMENT: It comes as no surprise to learn that Germany’s domestic intelligence service (Verfassungsschutz) has been funding neo-Nazis. (Observers had concluded as much in the wake of the Thuringian neo-Nazi scandal.)

The cozy relationship between German intelligence and Nazi and fascist elements looms large in the reopening of the Munich Oktoberfest bombing of 1980.

“Government Development Aid for neo-Nazis;” German-Foreign-Policy.com; 11/16/2011.

EXCERPT: New revelations on the neo-Nazi serial murders of nine men of non-German origin and a female police officer are incriminating a German domestic intelligence agency. According to media reports, a member of a recently discovered neo-Nazi terror group presumably had contact to the Thuringia Office for the Protection of the Constitution – even after he went underground. The affair could become an “intelligence agency problem,” predicts the domestic policy spokesman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Hans-Peter Uhl. In the 1990s, under the pretext that they are very important informants, the Thuringia Office for the Protection of the Constitution had, in fact, paid amounts of DMs in the six-digits to influential right-wing extremist militants. The militants used this money to set up neo-Nazi structures in Thuringia, including the “Thüringer Heimatschutz” (Thuringia Homeland Protection), an organization of violent neo-Nazis. The members of the terror group, responsible for the murders, are not the only ones who have their origins in this organization. Leading functionaries of today’s extreme right are also coming from that organization, which has been officially disbanded, but is still at work in other structures. Today some of its militants, for example, are organizing neo-Nazi festivals with international participation aimed at networking the extreme right throughout Europe.

Covered by the Intelligence Agency

The aid furnished by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz – VS) to the neo-Nazi scene, to set up their structures in the federal state of Thuringia, is exemplary for the aid provided throughout the 1990s. As far as has become known, this aid crystallized around two prominent militants, Thomas Dienel and Tino Brandt. Both had been informants for Thuringia’s VS. According to a study on Thuringia’s extreme right, Dienel had been considered one of the most active neo-Nazis in Thuringia, until the mid-1990s. “Explicit threats to use violence against foreigners and people with diverging opinions” were part “of his repertoire.” However, his contribution was particularly vital in the field of setting things up and organizing. He established links to influential neo-Nazis in West Germany, organized many “demonstrations and actions,” with the founding of a party [1] on April 20, 1992, he created the “first structured gathering place for young neo-Nazis” and he radicalized members of the NPD. “Therefore, he has left a trail behind that can be followed to current structures” in the neo-Nazi scene, writes the author of the study, published in 2001.[2] The media reported that in the 1990s the VS paid Dienel 25,000 DM – officially for his service as an informant. Dienel acknowledged publicly that he had sometimes coordinated his actions with the VS, for which he also had received money. The VS had also helped him in court: “They covered me.”[3] . . . Read more »

Discussion

3 comments for “No Surprise Here: German Intelligence Funding Neo-Nazis”

  1. How surprising:

    11/30/2011

    Hundreds of Confiscated Weapons
    Report Indicates German Right Wing Is Well Armed

    Revelations of a neo-Nazi terror cell in their midst have made Germans nervous. A new report detailing just how well armed right-wing extremists are in the country will do little to assuage their fears. Over 800 weapons were confiscated from radical groups in 2009 and 2010.

    Germany’s neo-Nazis, it would appear, are better armed than previously thought. According to a report filed this week by the German Interior Ministry in response to a parliamentary inquiry, authorities in the country confiscated 811 weapons from right-wing extremists in the two-year period from 2009 to 2010.

    Included among the finds were handguns, rifles and even military-grade firearms. In addition, police seized 40 explosive devices, all manner of pepper sprays and well over 300 blades.

    “The increasing number of weapons found in the possession of neo-fascists prove that the militant right is arming themselves to an alarming degree,” Ulla Jelpke, the domestic affairs spokesperson for the far-left Left Party in the German parliament, told the daily Berliner Zeitung, which first reported on the new weapons statistics. “Of particular concern is the strong increase in the number of firearms.”

    The news comes as Germany continues to reel from revelations that a neo-Nazi terror cell based in the eastern German town of Zwickau was responsible for a nine-victim murder spree targeting immigrants from 2000 to 2006 in addition to the killing of a police officer in 2007. While neo-Nazi violence in Germany has long been acknowledged, the discovery of the murderous trio, which had spent 14 years under cover, has come as a shock.

    ‘Brown Army Faction’

    On Wednesday, a parliamentary committee will continue looking into possible police errors made in the investigations of the crime spree. Massive criticism in recent weeks has centered on the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency. The agency has chapters in every German state in addition to the federal agency, and critics have said that internal communication problems were a significant reason for the fact that the crime spree remained unsolved for so long.

    Attributing the secret sheltering of a notorious neo-nazi group that engaged in a multi-year high-profile killing spree to an “internal communications problem” strikes me as a bit of an external communications problem too, but that might just be spin-revulsion on my part.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 30, 2011, 8:16 pm
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/german-secret-service-destroys-files-on-neonazi-terrorist-gang-the-national-socialist-underground-7897090.html

    German secret service destroys files on neo-Nazi terrorist gang the National Socialist Underground

    Vital information was shredded on the day it was due to be handed to federal prosecutors

    BERLIN FRIDAY 29 JUNE 2012

    Germany’s equivalent of MI5 has found itself at the centre of a deepening intelligence service scandal after it was confirmed yesterday that its agents had destroyed files containing vital information about a neo-Nazi terrorist gang hours before the material was due to be handed to federal prosecutors.

    The case concerns the National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi group responsible for Germany’s worst acts of far-right violence since the Second World War. Its members murdered a policewoman, shot dead nine immigrants, mounted two bomb attacks and robbed 14 banks to finance their operations.

    Police discovered the bodies of the gang’s two ringleaders, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, in a burned-out caravan in eastern Germany last November. Investigators established that they had committed suicide after robbing a bank. A third member of the gang, Beate Zschäpe, was caught and arrested. She is still being questioned.

    Details of the scandal were leaked to the German news agency DPA yesterday, prompting German Interior Ministry officials to admit that domestic intelligence service agents, who had been keeping the gang under surveillance for more than a decade, had destroyed files containing information about the group.

    They revealed to a parliamentary inquiry that the agents had shredded the documents on November 11 – the day they were due to be handed to Germany’s Federal Prosecutor, who had taken over the investigation.

    Jörg Ziercke, the President of Germany’s Federal Criminal Bureau, also admitted to the inquiry that his office “had failed” over the neo-Nazi investigation.

    The revelations increased suspicions that neo-Nazi cell members were in the pay of German intelligence. In the past, the organisation has made no secret of the fact that it uses secret service “moles” to infiltrate the country’s far-right groups. However, keeping neo-Nazis on the secret service payroll would amount to active collaboration and imply that members of the intelligence service supported their criminal acts. The intelligence services have admitted to a parliamentary inquiry that both domestic intelligence and German military intelligence used so-called “moles” to infiltrate the neo-Nazi organisations frequented by NSU ringleaders Mundlos and Böhnhardt.

    Shocked German MPs yesterday insisted that the Interior Minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, open a thorough investigation into the disclosures and bring those responsible to account.

    “The whole affair is intolerable and there must be consequences,” said Eva Högl, a Social Democrat MP. Clemens Binniger, a conservative MP attending the inquiry, said the revelations made” all theories possible”.

    The series of murders carried out by the National Socialist Underground began over a decade ago. The group singled out immigrant street vendors as their targets and specialised in shooting their victims at point-blank range in the head without warning.

    The killings were mostly carried out with a Czech-made Ceska pistol but remained unsolved for years. German police put them down to immigrant gang violence and did not suspect neo-Nazis were involved.

    After the discovery of the bodies of Mundlos and Böhnhardt last year, police found the Ceska murder weapon and soon established that the pair were behind the immigrant killings. Chancellor Angela Merkel described the murders as a “disgrace” for Germany. Ministers subsequently pledged to step up measures to combat the far right.

    Posted by R. Wilson | June 29, 2012, 8:15 pm
  3. How are they going to spin this one:

    German intelligence agents paid $240,000 to neo-Nazi informer linked to murder suspects

    Published February 25, 2013

    Associated Press

    BERLIN – Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has come under fire for paying almost a quarter of a million dollars to a neo-Nazi informer linked to a far-right terror group.

    Opposition lawmakers and anti-Nazi campaigners criticized the payments made over 18 years after they were first reported Sunday by conservative weekly Bild am Sonntag.

    Officials at the intelligence agency declined to comment on the report. But the head of a parliamentary committee tasked with investigating a string of murders allegedly carried out by the group says the information appears accurate.

    Lawmaker Sebastian Edathy told The Associated Press on Monday that the newspaper’s report matched information submitted to his committee.

    Edathy said the payments totaling €180,000 ($240,000) to a man identified by the newspaper as Thomas R. were “off the scale” for an informant.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 25, 2013, 9:21 am

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