Neo-Nazis in German police issue new threats

By Gregor Link
19 September 2020

A neo-Nazi network inside the German police force has been sending messages threatening violence to public figures for more than two years. The network, with the abbreviation “NSU 2.0,” has access to intimate personal data stored in official police databases. Among the list of predominantly female victims are lawyers, politicians, journalists, students and artists—a total of at least 71 threatening notes to 27 persons and institutions in eight different German states.

The series of terroristic intimidations began with attacks on the lawyer Seda Başay-Yıldız, a defender of victims of the National Socialist Underground (NSU), the neo-Nazi terror group that murdered nine migrants and one policewoman. The first of more than a dozen messages sent to Başay-Yıldız declared that her then two-year-old daughter would be “slaughtered.” One-and-a-half hours before the message was sent the personal data of the lawyer and her family had been accessed by a computer of the Frankfurt police.

The owner of the computer was the Hesse policewoman Miriam D., who together with her partner and four other right-wing extremist police officers maintained a chat group which circulated, among other things, illegal Nazi propaganda. The members of the group ridiculed disabled people, concentration camp prisoners, black skinned persons, refugees and Jews. The chat group also posted material mocking the young refugee Alan Kurdi. The boy’s body had been washed ashore in Turkey in 2015 and a photo of his corpse became a symbol for the European Union’s inhumane refugee policy.

In the past five years at least 38 internal proceedings have been initiated against far-right police officers in Hesse. Bearing in mind the fact that German police authorities are themselves investigating the cases, the number of fascist officials is likely to be many times higher. As the World Socialist Web Site has repeatedly pointed out, politicians, the secret services and investigators have systematically covered up the extent of the extreme right-wing conspiracy within the German state apparatus.

Now, official sources demonstrate that it is not only the Hesse police who are involved in drafting and spreading the “NSU 2.0” threatening letters. Last Monday, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and WDR radio reported that four police officers from Hamburg and Berlin have also been questioned recently as suspects.

According to the report, a man and a woman in Hamburg allegedly used their access to police computers to retrieve without authorisation the personal data of journalist Hengameh Yaghoobifarah. In June, Yaghoobifarah, who works for the taz newspaper, wrote a satirical article about the German police and subsequently received threatening letters from “NSU 2.0” which included intimate personal information.

Meanwhile in Berlin, two officers from the Spandau and Neukölln districts are said to have spied on the cabaret artist İdil Baydar and called up her private data. According to media reports, this happened on the same day an identical computer inquiry was made in Wiesbaden. Ten days later Baydar received a threatening SMS mentioning her mother’s first name. To date, none of the officers involved have been relieved from official duty.

The Süddeutsche notes that as early as 2017 there had been “anonymous threatening letters in Berlin, among others, to members of the left-wing milieu and journalists, based on data from police databases.” Der Spiegel also reported that a chief commissioner in the Berlin police force provided members of a far-right chat group with confidential information, including information about a suspect in the investigation of racist arson attacks in Neukölln.

The weekly news magazine also names police officer Roland G., who is a suspect in the case of the bombing of the Fatih Mosque in the city of Dresden. The chief of police, who supervised the shooting range of the municipal police headquarters, had close relations with the far-right Reichbürger movement, which denies the Holocaust and seeks to establish a vigilante group of “German knights.” After being sentenced to a €4,000 fine for incitement, he remains in the service of the police where he has access to official vehicles, among other privileges.

In Landshut, Bavaria, former police officer Hermann S. and his wife were temporarily arrested in late July by Bavarian and Hessen criminal police officials after he was suspected of being one of the authors of the “NSU 2.0” threatening letters. During a house search of the well-connected “New-Right” activist, investigators found an illegal stock of weapons, including two pistols, batons, pepper spray and a pump gun. A computer server was confiscated and is currently being evaluated.

“Group S.”—connecting right-wing terrorists and the police

There is also new evidence in the case of suspected right-wing extremist terrorists from “Group S.” which indicates the involvement of the police authorities. As the World Socialist Web Site has reported, 12 men had hoarded weapons and ammunition and planned to raid mosques throughout Germany in a concerted “commando” action, aimed at killing people at prayer. The intention was to provoke a counter-reaction and “civil war” in order to “rock” and “overcome” the state and social order of Germany, according to a statement by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

An informer from the investigating authorities was the only member of the group not to be arrested, although, according to investigators, he belonged to the innermost circle of conspirators.

According to the Tagesschau newspaper, the group regarded 2020 as the year when there would be “no more excuses” and “action” was necessary. One of the group’s supporters was the neo-Nazi Thorsten W., an officer in the police headquarters of Hamm in North Rhine-Westphalia. According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung the officer had “for years openly indicated his extreme right-wing views.” He had promised the group €5,000, “if necessary even more,” for weapons and is alleged to have ordered a pistol at a meeting of the group.

The police officer, who has been in custody since February, wanted to “take action against ‘riffraff’ with his service weapon,” the Süddeutsche reported. In a WhatsApp group, W., together with a police superintendent and another officer, had for years exchanged “racist slogans and Nazi propaganda” and joked that they “wanted to shoot foreigners.” The three men are under investigation by the Dortmund public prosecutor’s office for using license plates bearing the initials of illegal organisations. W. is also alleged to have accessed a confidential police report on the Reichsbürger movement.

Although W.’s right-wing extremist views were evident for years, no disciplinary measures were taken. His office in the Bockum-Hövel police station was only searched when W. was suspected of terrorism. In his office, investigators found Nazi merchandise and stacks of issues of a right-wing extremist monthly paper, together with other evidence.

As the news portal t-online wrote in August, the “assault plans of Group S. ... were further advanced than previously known.” According to the report, a Kalashnikov and ammunition had already been ordered. The money was being held by one of the group’s suspected supporters, but shortly before his arrest the deal was suddenly cancelled.

Then, in July, another suspected supporter of Group S. was found dead in Dortmund Prison. He allegedly promised the group €50,000 to buy weapons. According to media reports, the man was active in the Reichbürger milieu and possessed a cache of weapons and homemade hand grenades. Spiegel magazine quoted a prison spokesman who said that the circumstances of the terror suspect’s death “had not yet been conclusively determined.”

A Spiegel survey of German state institutions revealed at least 18 cases of “Reichbürgers in uniform” in Bavaria, and 12 in the federal police force. In total, there have been at least 340 suspected cases of right-wing extremism in the federal states since 2014. This is clearly a complete underestimation, in part due to the fact that forces such as the Verfassungsschutz, the domestic secret service (Office for the Protection of the Constitution), is constantly moving the political spectrum further to the right with its definition of right-wing extremism.

In its most recent report, the Verfassungsschutz stated that “among the vast majority of members of the milieu [Reichbürger], right-wing extremist ideological elements are ... only slight or indiscernible.” The report was released just weeks before hundreds of far-right extremists led by Reichbürger members attempted to storm the Bundestag. The pictures of far-right “Reich” war flags in front of the German parliament were published in papers all over the world.

“Nordkreuz” and the “Hannibal” network

Marko G., a leader of the “prepper” group “Nordkreuz,” had recently attracted similar international attention. Along with accomplices from the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania criminal police, Marko G., a trained sniper, ex-elite soldier and long-time member of the police Special Commando Force (SEK), had accumulated an extensive stock of weapons on his private property, including an Uzi submachine gun with silencer and 40,000 rounds of ammunition.

Members of the group were temporarily arrested at the end of last year when extensive lists of “political foes” and lists for orders of caustic lime and body bags were uncovered. Marko G., a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, was suspended from duty but is now at large. The Schwerin Regional Court described his preparations for civil war as a “one-time—though in terms of time and content very extensive—breach of conduct” and awarded him a suspended sentence.

According to Der Spiegel, the state criminal investigation department had identified Marko G. as a right-wing extremist back in 2009. In a note to his superiors, the news magazine reported that “G. was conspicuously interested in National Socialism and especially in the SS, ‘without showing the necessary distance.’” Members of the Nordkreuz group, including a lawyer and a senior police officer, discussed plans “to use ‘Day X’ to ‘gather and kill’ leftist refugee supporters,” one witness reported. Marko G. himself told Der Spiegel that “Nordkreuz remains active today.”

Nordkreuz is part of the so-called “Hannibal” network, which, according to insiders, is preparing for an armed coup. The network apparently has over 2,000 supporters throughout Europe as well as links to German army special forces and the neo-fascist NPD. It recruits its members from all sections of the state apparatus.

Nordkreuz, in turn, relies on the “Uniter” group, which networks arms dealers, the security services and elite soldiers, instructs private individuals in domestic combat and trains its own nongovernmental combat unit. Uniter was founded by a former member of the Verfassungsshutz and André S., aka “Hannibal,” a former instructor of the German army Special Forces Command (KSK) and an informant for the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD).

At the end of May, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against two officers of the Brandenburg police force who were members of Uniter, following an investigation by Stern magazine. The two officers are accused of illegal data retrieval. According to Heise magazine, one of the suspects “did research in the operational documentation system,” while the second officer accessed police information about himself and his family as well as information about another former member of Uniter. The two policemen have since left the group and remain in service.

At the end of last year, the Uniter membership of a lecturer at the police academy in Brandenburg was revealed. According to the taz newspaper, the lecturer was “District Manager East,” i.e., part of the leadership team of Hannibal. He was also suspected of illegally accessing police database systems, but the German Interior Ministry rejected this suspicion in June.

Far-right networks In Germany are able to energetically continue their work because their activities are being systematically covered up by the highest authorities in the state apparatus and political circles.