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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 »


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

  1. How sur­pris­ing:


    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


    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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