In November 2011, it was discovered that Germany had a neo-Nazi terrorist cell operating within the country’s borders. The cell was called the National Socialist Underground.
However, just last week it has come to light that German Intelligence appeared to have tried cover up the existence of the terrorist’s cell, leaving many observers to ask – why did German intelligence try to cover up the existence of the National Socialist Underground?
The National Socialist Underground became known to the public worldwide in November 2011, when several of the group’s members robbed a bank, but were later found dead.
Official reports state that upon being discovered, the bank robbers set their car and mobile home on fire; then, committed suicide.
An investigation of the burned mobile home revealed the handgun of a policewoman, Michéle Kiesewetter, who was murdered 2007. Another gun was found at the scene, which belonged to Kiesewetter’s colleague who was shot in the head during the same shooting.
All in All, it is alleged that the group is responsible for at least nine murders from 2000 through 2006, in which the victims were either Turkish or Greek immigrants.
National Socialist Underground Able to Operate for Decades
Along with the murders, the group is also accused of a 2004 bombing in Cologne, Germany.
Once again, it appears immigrants were the target, because a pipe bomb was detonated in a commercial area of Cologne that is popular among Turkish immigrants. Included in the bomb was a large number of nails in order to inflict maximum damage.
As a result, 22 people were wounded, four of which were severely injured. Along with the wounded, several shops and parked cars were destroyed in the blast.
However, it seems that even with the high profile murders and the destruction of the relatively popular business district, the National Socialist Underground was able to operate undetected in the country for more than a decade.
Many speculated that the group may have sympathizers within the German government, and recent events may actually validate that speculation.
Was German Intelligence Fumbling Deliberate?
German intelligence has been criticized for their mishandling of the National Socialist Underground case since it came to light.
It seems that when it came to investigating the terrorist cell, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution was plagued with miscommunication among it’s investigators. It is still unclear whether these miscommunications were deliberate or not.
It has also been discovered that an intelligence official, only being identified as “M,” destroyed a file associated with the National Socialist Underground case.
According to reports, the destroyed files documented agency attempts to recruit informants from other far-right organizations that the alleged cell members formerly belonged. To date, it is unclear what specific information was in the file that prompted it’s destruction.
It may be sometime before these details come to light because “M” has invoked his right to refuse to testify on any specific reasons why he destroyed the file.
Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution
Yet, it does seem that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has a number of right-winged extremist sympathizers within its ranks.
Especially if you couple the latest incident with the news in February 2012 that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution was monitoring the activities of 27 different members of the German parliament; all of which were part the Left party.
Back in February, Interior Ministry defended its actions by stating that the 27 individuals were being monitored because of their advocating for “a change to the present form of the state and society.”
Many citizens critized the agency for its actions and its reasoning, when the murderous National Socialist Underground was running amuck across Germany.
It is very early into the investigations of both of these cases; however; it does appear that a cover up is a strong possibility, and that right-wing extremism may very well have infiltrated German intelligence.
We’ll be following this case closely in the coming months.