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Germany’s new breed of neo-Nazis pose a threat

The neo-Nazi group, which has been dubbed the Zwickau cell, operated for more than 10 years

Neo-Nazism in Germany is on the rise. Interestingly, the Islamophobes ignore the terror threat from such groups:

Germany’s new breed of neo-Nazis pose a threat

By Katya Adler, BBC Newsnight, Germany

The security services in Germany are scrambling to track down and arrest far-right fugitives and Germany’s federal and state interior ministers have announced they are taking concrete steps towards banning the country’s far right National Democratic Party, the NPD.

This comes after a public outcry following revelations in November that a neo-Nazi cell had apparently been able to go on a nationwide spree of racially motivated murders over several years, under the noses of the German intelligence services.

The group of three are being held responsible for the deaths of eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant between 2000 and 2006, as well as a German policewoman in 2007.

Yet the existence of the group, dubbed the Zwickau cell after the name of the town where they spent most of their time in hiding, only came to light in November when two of its members died in an apparent joint suicide or murder-suicide and the third handed herself in to the authorities.

The NPD has been linked to the group, though the allegations have yet to be accepted in a court of law.

The trio had made a DVD in which they boasted of the killings and said they had acted to serve the German nation and its people, describing themselves as the National Socialist Underground – echoing the national socialism (Nazism) of Hitler’s Germany.

The story of the killers has dominated headlines in Germany for months now and given rise to one of the biggest scandals in post-war Germany.

It turns out intelligence agencies had had the group under surveillance for years, and even found a bomb-making factory in their garage back in 1998.

So why were the trio not stopped earlier? Why were they allowed to disappear and then stay underground? And why was it that security services blamed the murders on the Turkish mafia at the time? A right-wing motive was never investigated.

The failures have prompted some to ask whether there is more than incompetence to blame, whether Germany’s police and security services contain elements sympathetic to the far right – an accusation the institutions vehemently deny.

A parliamentary inquiry is currently under way into their activities, and Newsnight has seen a secret internal report revealing serious blunders by law enforcement agencies.

Police limitationsWhen we spoke to Peter Altmaier, a senior official in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party, he admitted that mistakes had been made:

“You have to know Germany is a federal state, and competencies are shared and divided between federal and state levels… and because we have drawn the lessons from the Nazi dictatorship, we have very limited powers of police and security institutions.

“There have been hints and indications of right-wing extremism that were not taken seriously enough, and therefore we have put this very high on the political agenda.”

Another question that now worries many Germans is just how big a threat the far right poses.

Human rights groups say more than 180 people have been killed in right-wing attacks in Germany over the last 20 years.

Neo-Nazis have murdered more people in post-war Germany than any other single group, including Islamists and the far left. But this is not yet reflected in official data.

>> Continue reading: Germany’s new breed of neo-Nazis pose a threat

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  • RDS

    “It turns out intelligence agencies had had the group under surveillance for years, and even found a bomb-making factory in their garage back in 1998.

    So why were the trio not stopped earlier? Why were they allowed to disappear and then stay underground?”

    Why, because they were busy chasing the nonexistent Muslim threat, of course.

  • @Eslaporte

    Its really upsetting how so many people are ignoring the real threat in favor of dealing with what is for the most part a shadow. It would be so much better if they were to focus their effort on the Neo Nazi organizations. There aren’t that many Muslim fanatics in Europe, or the U.S.

  • NurAlia

    Bigots first…cause is irrelevent.

    These Islamophobes are bigots who simply need a casuse to express themselves. Although they dont know anything about Islam, it simply is convenient that Islam is the religion of ‘brown people’…so it simply is thier way of making thier bigotry ‘acceptable’.

    However, we must also blame those who use it to justify war. The same blind hate that allows soldiers to walk into Afgan homes and shoot the occupants is the kind that makes it acceptable for these people to do thier evil, and the authorites be blind…or not want to investigate…the read motives for the murders these people committed.

    We dont want to admit that all of us in some way are racists and bigots. When we see examples of ‘our kind’ of racism, we want to turn a blind eye to it, and deny it even, because it indites us.

    Racism and hate is just that…the reason the haters hate is irrelevent.

  • The reality is that there is vastly more of a threat of violence and terrorism from the radical right wing than so-called “Islamists and jihadists.”

    While governments (ex. Netherlands) claim – without evidence – that there are “jihad networks” in Europe — newspapers, activists and anti-racist groups (Anne Frank Foundation) have documented the existence of REAL Nazi and radical right networks though out Europe.

    Chasing the ghosts of “jihad” and treating violent crimes by people of Muslim background as “al-Qaeda terrorism” is the politically correct thing to do these days (Treating the Theo van Gogh murder as “terrorism” has been quite profitable in security field for for the Dutch government.) It justifies discrimination, exclusion and spying on Muslim communities – while at the same time ignoring the radical right threat. German intelligence were off spying on Muslim children in parks – while the “Doner killings” were going on…

  • mjasghar

    What’s really annoying is in the newsnight report the reporter makes no mention of the possibility the police were only investigating possible muslim terrorists
    These guys were found with bomb making equip yet let go
    Any brown skinned person would have been on their way to morocco to get tortured for half of what they had on this lot

  • Yes, I remember CriticalDragon1177 and I agree: Religous bigots are often not just bigoted towards only one religion.
    And I have also noticed that the Islamophobes on Jihadwatch, Frontpagemag, Eric Allen Bell’s Facebook page and so on, are currently up in arms regarding the protesting (mostly black people) of the handling of the Trayvon Martin killing. In other words, religious bigots are often also racists. They also seem to have a problem with Mexicans and Mexican Americans.
    They seem incapable of accepting the “other” or anyone who is different from them. They therefore hate the concepts of diversity, multiculturalism and coexisting.
    The right chooses fear and hate the left for choosing love.

  • @Crow

    Nazism may go away entirely eventually, but probably not in our lifetime, even assuming the worst case scenario never occurs and there’s never another Nazi regime anywhere on Earth. Still Nazis aren’t the only racists or antisemites out there, and there are very disturbing similarities between antisemitism and Islamophobia. Anyone here remember this?

    Islamophobia and Antisemitism: Same message, different minority.

  • mindy1

    I wanna lock them up with the Taliban in a cage match-loser dies, winner gets exiled-i’ll bring the popcorn 😉

  • Christian-friend

    what if they’re were muslims?

  • crow

    Evil never dies

  • Al

    …Speaking of cretins…

  • juju

    “Neo-Nazis have murdered more people in post-war Germany than any other single group, including Islamists and the far left. But this is not yet reflected in official data.” This is terrorism!

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