Far-right German policemen hoard ammunition


This November 2014 Ukraine Today video says about itself:

German Hoards Weapons Fearing Russian Invasion: Bavarian police uncover arsenal

German police have uncovered a vast weapons cache in Bavaria. Crime fighters said they were ‘astonished’ at the size of the haul, which included around 150 weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition and 20kgs of explosives.

Then, that hoarding of weapons was not by police officers. But now …

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting in Germany:

Far-right German police arrested for hoarding ammunition

24 June 2019

The arrest last week of four police officers in the East German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania confirms the existence of an extensive far-right network inside the German police and army (Bundeswehr), which is being covered up by the authorities.

Last Wednesday, the prosecutor of Schwerin, the state’s capital, ordered a search of 13 homes and police departments and arrested four police officers. Three of those arrested are members of the Special Task Force (SEK) of the state criminal police (LKA), the fourth, a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), Marko G., is a former SEK officer.

Ten thousand rounds of ammunition and an Uzi machine gun were found at the home of Marko G. The three active SEK policemen are said to have handed over the stolen cartridges to him. The four are now being investigated for violating the War Weapons Control Act and the Weapons Law, as well as for collective fraud.

The arrests raise a number of disturbing questions.

The house of Marko G. had already been searched for 11 hours in the autumn of 2017 by the GSG9 anti-terror unit of the federal police. At that time “a considerable amount of weapons and ammunition were found” to which Marko G. was not entitled, the Schwerin public prosecutor declared last week.

It was also revealed at the time that Marko G. was the founder and administrator of a chat group “Nordkreuz”, which communicated via Messenger Telegram. The group of around 30 members were so-called “preppers”, who were hoarding supplies and weapons and carrying out target practice in preparation for a “Day X”, when a state crisis was expected to take place.

Two members of this chat group, the police officer and AfD member Haik J. and the lawyer and city parliament deputy Jan-Hendrik Hammer, were under investigation by the authorities on “suspicion of preparing a serious act of subversive violence.” They were alleged to have regarded an impending state crisis as an opportunity “to use their weapons to apprehend and kill representatives of the left-wing political spectrum”, according to the 2017 judicial search warrant.

The searches, which focused on a total of six men, yielded 30,000 cartridges and a list of thousands of names and dates of political opponents. These include Left Party and Green Party state and federal politicians, representatives of refugee associations, of a workers’ welfare organisation and of trade unions. However, only Haik J. and Hammer were charged, the other four, including Marko G., were assessed to be mere witnesses.

The case was reported in the media at that time. Marko G. even gave “Panorama”, a news magazine on ARD public television, a detailed interview, in which he reported on the activities of the prepper group “Nordkreuz”. He admitted that the group met for shooting practice, but denied any plans to kill political opponents.

Commenting on the composition of the group, Marko G said: “Everything from bankers to doctors and athletes. We have technicians, engineers, self-employed craftsmen, policemen.” The group also included several army reservists.

Despite the weapons deposits found and the list of political opponents, the raid had no consequences for Marko G., who was not even subjected to a disciplinary procedure. He was able to continue his activities without harassment for another two years as well as his chat group, which is networked to far-right groups throughout Germany.

It is unclear why a second raid against Marko G., which led to his arrest, has taken place now. It is remarkable, however, that it took place just 10 days after the murder of the Kassel district president Walter Lübcke and three days before the arrest of his alleged murderer, Stefan E. Stefan E. is a neo-Nazi with a long criminal record and a man with close links to far-right networks throughout Germany.

Is there a possible connection? Was Marko G. taken out of circulation before his contacts with circles involved in the Lübcke murder became known, thereby avoiding a scandal for the government in Schwerin and its interior minister Lorenz Caffier (CDU)?

Caffier has awarded Marko G. a certificate as a sport shooter and was a regular guest at a shooting range where the LKA organised training for special units of the police and the army. This shooting range has also been searched in the recent raids, because its manager is alleged to have been active in the Nordkreuz group. Despite requests from state politicians, Caffier also omitted to inform and warn the people whose names were included on the 2017 “hit list.”

Marko G. was networked nationwide. Nordkreuz was just one of several chat groups in which he exchanged views with like-minded far rightists. The main administrator of the network of chat groups was André S., a soldier attached to the KSK special forces army unit, who was also known as Hannibal.

André S. is the central figure in a far-right network of former and active Bundeswehr soldiers. Details of the network were published in the Focus magazine and taz newspaper last November. In terms of personnel and organisation, it relies on “Uniter”, an association of former elite soldiers founded by Hannibal in 2012. It maintains close relations with other parts of the state apparatus, including the military intelligence service (MAD), domestic intelligence agency as well as reservists, police officers, judges and other civil servants.

The right-wing extremist soldier Franco A. is said to have participated at least twice at meetings organised by Hannibal in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Franco A. had registered as a Syrian refugee in an apparent attempt to attack high-ranking politicians and personalities and then put the blame on refugees.

According to the taz newspaper, Marko G. also met Hannibal in person at a weapons fair in Nuremberg and near Schwerin. In early 2017, the two men discussed whether they could use Bundeswehr trucks on Day X to overcome roadblocks—and on the shootings to be carried out.

The taz has also exposed a direct connection between “Uniter” and the Baden-Württemberg State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (state intelligence agency, LfV) as well as an indirect connection to the far-right terrorist group, the National Socialist Underground, NSU.

State authorities have held a protective hand over this huge right-wing network in the police and army and have no interest in uncovering it. Schwerin Interior Minister Caffier claims up to this day that SEK officers involved in the Nordkreuz group are individual cases.

At the same time, soldiers and police officers who speak out against the far-right extremists are being victimised. One example is Sergeant Patrick J. who was due to be “dishonourably” dismissed from the Bundeswehr after he handed over to military intelligence a dossier of almost 150 pages with information on the right-wing activities of Bundeswehr soldiers.

Among other material, the 30-year-old lawyer had collected right-wing extremist statements from more than 100 of his comrades. He had also reported that one soldier had built a copy of Auschwitz concentration camp with Lego bricks, working together with fellow far rightists via Facebook. Military intelligence, however, concluded that his evidence was “exaggerated and groundless.”

The Bundeswehr Personnel Office sought to dismiss Patrick J. on the grounds that he lacked “suitable character”. Only after the affair became public did the defence ministry backtrack. It invited Patrick J. to a conversation and has suspended his dismissal “until further notice.”

German politician’s murder raises spectre of far-right attacks. By Jenny Hill, BBC Berlin correspondent.

Dutch soldiers transfer Afghan prisoners to torturers


This November 2013 video says about itself:

Afghan army torture prisoner as US forces look on

Investigative reporter Matthieu Aikins has uncovered video from Afghanistan showing Afghan National Army members repeatedly whipping a prisoner as US forces look on.

He obtained the video whilst working on an investigation into alleged US war crimes for Rolling Stone magazine. US forces have frequently been accused of turning a blind eye to their Afghan colleagues torturing their prisoners during interrogation.

Here are links to the Matthieu Aikins reports for Rolling Stone:

The A-team killings: here.

Torture video: here.

Democracy Now Interview with Aikins: here.

Vice documentary – “This is What Winning Looks Like”: here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘Prisoners of Dutch military mission tortured by Afghanistan’s secret service

Prisoners who were transferred to the Afghan security service during the Dutch military mission in Uruzgan have been tortured and extorted. That happened despite promises from the then minister Ben Bot that the treatment of the prisoners would be closely monitored, Trouw daily writes.

The newspaper reports on research by the Dutch journalists’ collective Lighthouse Reports. That states that a prisoner tracking system has hardly worked, despite Bot’s promises.

Minister Bot’s promise came after concerned questions from the House of Representatives. The Afghan security service NDS had an extremely bad reputation. It was therefore agreed that the prisoners would be monitored. The International Red Cross and the local AIHRC organization were supposed to get access to the prisoners and Dutch diplomats were supposed to visit the prisoners regularly.

Prisoner tracking system

Lighthouse Reports states that the prisoner tracking system barely functioned. Not only were there not enough people to visit the prisoners, the Red Cross and the AIHRC did not always have access to the prisoners.

There are only 69 reports of prison visits, which are sometimes very short. That means there are no reports on a majority of the approximately 230 people who were transferred to the NDS. A total of 574 people were captured by Dutch soldiers.

Threats

In those 69 reports there is nothing about abuse, but according to Lighthouse Reports that did happen. Together with an Afghan research organisation, the collective tracked down various people who were transferred from the Dutch army to the NDS.

One of those prisoners is M., who was tortured because shortly after the transfer by the Netherlands he was unable to pay an amount of one thousand euros to the NDS.

M. asked his brother to sell their land and bring the proceeds the next day, but when the brother did not come, M. was ill-treated again. That also happened when the brother turned up the day after, but with too little money. Eventually, M. was released, with the announcement that he would be killed if he told someone about the torture and the money.

Cold cell

Also A., then 18 years old, was tortured after the transfer. Sometimes he didn’t get food for days. “If I did get food, it was so filthy that I had to puke.” He was locked up in a cold cell and kept awake. Moreover, his guards threatened with transfer to the US Americans and Guantánamo Bay.

A.’s father eventually managed to scrape together nearly three thousand euros, so that his son was released after a year and a half. Prisoners who could not raise money were sometimes killed, say both M. and A.

Witness

Dutch soldiers have also witnessed the abuse, according to conversations that journalists from Lighthouse Reports had with a number of them. One of them talks about the transfer of a prisoner who was thrown by an Afghan into the loading box of a pickup truck. The prisoner’s head bounced and immediately started bleeding.

Later the veteran asked his senior officer what would happen to the prisoners. To which his supervisor said: “If you are very quiet and you wait a little longer, then you will hear it automatically.”

The Netherlands left Uruzgan in 2010, after which Australia took over the mission. That decided a year later to temporarily stop the transfer of prisoners to the NDS and again in 2013, following an investigation into reports of torture in the NDS prison in Tarin Kowt.

German nazi network murder of Walter Lübcke?


This 19 June 2019 video says about itself:

Refugee-friendly politician killed by a neo-Nazi network?

Investigations into the killing of German regional politician Walter Lübcke are being stepped up. Police reports indicate that a suspected far-right extremist arrested in the case may not have acted alone but been part of a wider extremist network.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

Who was behind the murder of German politician Walter Lübcke?

22 June 2019

Evidence is mounting that a neo-Nazi network with close ties to the German state was behind the murder three weeks ago of Walter Lübcke, the district president of the Kassel region in the state of Hesse.

Following the arrest of neo-Nazi Stephan Ernst, who has a lengthy criminal record, as the prime suspect in the case, witnesses have suggested that additional individuals participated in the crime. A former German army soldier claimed to have heard a gunshot during the night of the murder, followed 20 minutes later by two cars driving “in an aggressive manner” through the local village. He identified one of the vehicles as a Volkswagen Caddy. Ernst’s wife has such a model licensed under her name, but alleges that the vehicle was exclusively used by Ernst.

If the witness’ statement is accurate, it means at least one additional perpetrator was directly involved in the murder. Walter Lübcke was executed on the terrace of his home with a shot to the head at close range just after midnight on June 2.

Further details about the ties of the suspect to the neo-Nazi milieu are also coming to light. They reach as far as the right-wing terrorist group National Socialist Underground (NSU) which carried out the ninth of its ten murders in Kassel in 2006, as well as associated organizations and the domestic intelligence agency.

Ernst has a lengthy criminal record. A total of seven rulings made by courts against him in Hesse, Schleswig-Holstein and Münster between 1993 and 2010 have been listed. The longest sentence imposed was in 1995, when Ernst was sentenced to six years in youth custody for attacking a facility for asylum seekers in Hohenstein-Steckenroth, Hesse, with a pipe bomb. Fines were also imposed for theft, bodily harm and insulting language. In addition, a number of charges, including arson, manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and robbery, were dropped due to a lack of evidence.

The last conviction against Ernst was handed down by the Dortmund District Court in 2010. It sentenced him to seven months in prison for attacking the May Day 2009 rally of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) in Dortmund with stones and pieces of wood, together with hundreds of neo-Nazis. Despite his lengthy list of prior convictions, the court suspended the sentence.

During this period of time, Ernst was an active member of Kassel’s violent neo-Nazi milieu. NSU-Watch and the anti-fascist research platform Exif have published several photos showing Ernst in the company of well-known neo-Nazis.

During the early 2000s, he appeared at several meetings of the neo-Nazi NPD with Mike S., a member of the Oidoxie Streetfighting Crew. This group, named after a right-wing rock band, viewed itself as the German section of the extremist terrorist group Combat 18.

On 23 March 2019, Ernst participated in a Combat 18 meeting.

It maintained close ties to the NSU, including providing it with practical support.

In 2006, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, two NSU members, allegedly attended a birthday party in Kassel for Stanley R., a leading local neo-Nazi. Ernst, who was close to R., probably met both of them personally at the event. Shortly thereafter, the NSU murdered its ninth victim, Halet Yozgat, in an internet cafe in Kassel.

As the murder took place, Andreas Temme, an employee of the Hesse state intelligence agency who was nicknamed “Little Adolf”, was also at the cafe. However, he claims not to have witnessed anything untoward, a claim which numerous experts consider to be highly unlikely. Temme’s real role remains unclear to this day. Although Temme appeared at the NSU trial held in Munich and before the parliamentary investigatory commissions, former Hesse Interior Minister and current Minister President Volker Bouffier, a personal friend of Lübcke, refused to give Temme unrestricted authorization to testify.

After his dubious role in the Yozgat case, Temme, who was responsible for the intelligence agency’s informants in right-wing groups, changed jobs. He has since worked in the district presidium in Kassel, the institution led by Lübcke—a mere coincidence?

Lübcke’s alleged murderer, Ernst, was at least indirectly connected to Temme. He knew the neo-Nazi and intelligence agency informant Benjamin Gärtner, who spoke to Temme by telephone shortly prior to Yozgat’s murder. During testimony to the NSU investigatory commission in the Hesse state parliament in February 2016, Gärtner confirmed that he knew Ernst as “NPD Stephan”.

At the time, the commission had possession of a secret dossier on Ernst. The dossier subsequently disappeared. The intelligence agency claims that it has not been deleted, but that access to it has merely been blocked because Ernst had not faced any charges for ten years. It remains unclear if this is in fact the case.

The claim that Ernst did not publicly appear as a right-wing extremist over the past ten years lacks all credibility. The much more relevant question is whether he reached an agreement with the intelligence agency and was therefore left undisturbed.

He certainly remained an active right-wing extremist. In 2016, he donated €150 to the election campaign of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Thuringia, an especially militant section of the party. Under the pseudonym “Game Over”, he agitated on YouTube against foreigners and the government. He warned in 2018, “Either this government resigns shortly or there will be deaths.” The police found weapons during a search of his home.

It has been assumed thus far that Walter Lübcke was murdered due to his pro-refugee stance. In 2015, he opposed members of the far-right Pegida movement at a public meeting on the question of providing accommodation for refugees, for which he was responsible as district president. This led to the eruption of a campaign of death threats online, which prompted the police to provide Lübcke with personal protection for a period of time. For no apparent reason, this campaign was revived earlier this year.

However, given the professional way in which the murder was carried out and the suspect’s close ties to right-wing extremist networks connected with the state security apparatus, other motives for the killing cannot be excluded. Could it be that Lübcke knew too much, and had become an obstacle to the far-right cliques?

It is now beyond question that violent right-wing extremist criminals can act largely unhindered by the state, while maintaining close relations with relevant networks within the state apparatus.

The federal domestic intelligence agency counted 24,000 neo-Nazis in Germany in 2017, of which 12,700 were considered to be prepared to commit acts of violence. These figures do not even include the AfD, Pegida and its far-right associates, because these organisations are not deemed to be right-wing extremist by the intelligence agency. The Federal Criminal Police Agency registered 838 cases of injuries caused by right-wing violence last year. Despite this, the intelligence agency categorised just 38 of the 12,700 neo-Nazis prepared to commit violence as threats.

Victims of right-wing extremist violence and threats repeatedly note that they receive no support from the police. Journalists and local and state politicians have received thousands of right-wing threats by email, without the police doing anything about them. Cologne mayoral candidate Henriette Reker and the mayor of Altena, Andreas Hollstein, only narrowly survived right-wing extremist attacks. Others, like the Berlin Left Party politician Philipp Wohlfeil, suffered severe injuries at the hands of right-wing extremist thugs and are on blacklists maintained by the far right.

Following the exposure of right-wing extremist army officer Franco A., who fraudulently registered as a refugee, investigations into the so-called “prepper scene”, and the threatening letters sent to the lawyer Seda Başay-Yıldız, numerous right-wing extremist networks in the army and police have come to light. But hardly any consequences have followed.

Although detailed information about a nationwide “prepper” network, which hoarded weapons and maintained kill lists of left-wing opponents, was revealed during a series of police raids in Mecklenburg-Pomerania two years ago, the group’s members remained secret and some were even allowed to continue working as police officers.

Only recently, on June 12, four elite police officers were arrested. They had managed to misdirect and hoard munitions, including 10,000 bullets.

Was it a mere coincidence that those arrests occurred just ten days after Lübcke’s murder, and three days prior to the arrest of the neo-Nazi suspect? Or did sections of the state apparatus get cold feet?

Scientology sexual abuse scandal


This 20 June 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Former Scientology member sues church, claims child abuse and human trafficking

The Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige are the targets of a lawsuit by a former member of the church, who alleges child abuse, human trafficking and intimidation. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles. In court documents, the defendant was called Jane Doe to protect her identity.

According to the lawsuit, Doe was born to Scientologist parents in 1979 and lived from ages 6-12 at the spiritual headquarters of the church in Clearwater. She claims she was forced to work from 8 a.m. to midnight and only instructed on Scientologist teachings. Doe claimed at age 10, she was subjected to a ritual called “bullbaiting”, where she says she had to sit in a chair while obscene things were shouted at her. According to the lawsuit, she was expected to show no reaction; if she did, she claims the practice would start over.

The lawsuit says when she was 15, Doe was lured to Los Angeles with promises of fair pay and a simple job. Instead, she claims she was forced to work long hours for little pay. She became a member of the Sea Org, which the suit describes as a military-like “sub-organization for Scientology’s most dedicated members”. The suit claims members sign a “billion-year contract” dedicating their lives to the church and work an average of 100 hours a week for $46.

Doe said she started working as Miscavige’s steward seven days a week and became close to his wife, Shelly. Miscavige, though, had a falling out with his wife in 2005, Doe said. That led to Doe being sent to “the hole,” a pair of double-wide mobile homes where those accused of ethics violations were kept under strict surveillance, the lawsuit alleges. She claims she was kept there for three months, then sentenced to three months of hard labor. Doe claims she witnessed a crying Shelly Miscavige being dragged into a car. Shelly Miscavige has not been seen or heard publicly since, according to the lawsuit.

Doe said she tried to escape the church in 2016 but came back because of her family connections. She finally left for good in 2017 and now works with actress Leah Remini, who has become an outspoken critic of Scientology. Doe’s story became part of an episode of Remini’s TV series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”, which told the story of defected church members. The suit claims the church set up a hate website — leahreminiaftermath.com — that targeted Doe and the others featured on the show. The website contains what the suit calls “false, defamatory and inflammatory information about Jane Doe, all under the (Church of Scientology) copyright.” The suit claimed similar articles and videos about Doe appeared on the official website of Freedom Magazine, a Scientology-run publication.

The lawsuit seeks damages for multiple complaints, including false imprisonment; kidnapping; stalking; libel; slander; invasion of privacy; intentional infliction of emotional distress; human trafficking; failure to pay minimum wage; exceeding maximum work hours and overtime, failure to provide days of rest and meal periods; violation of California labor codes; fraudulent inducement of employment; negligent misrepresentation; and negligence.

“Scientology for decades has sought to quash dissention, cover up its long history of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of its members, including its most vulnerable members, its children, and weaponize its doctrine against those who escape and find the courage to speak up,” said Attorney Brian Kent of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP, which filed the lawsuit. “This is just the beginning and we are not going to stop until they do.”

LAWSUIT SEEKS TO BRING CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTO THE ME TOO ERA An ex-Scientologist has filed a lawsuit against the church and its leader, David Miscavige ― alleging that it put her through years of “heinous abuse, human trafficking, and intimidation.” [HuffPost]

‘Investigate Saudi crown prince for murdering journalist’


This 19 June 2019 video says about itself:

U.N. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard gives live interview as her final report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is released.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

United Nations rapporteur wants investigation of role of Saudi Crown Prince in Khashoggi case

A UN Special Rapporteur wants a criminal investigation into the role of high-ranking Saudis in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The UN must insist that the responsibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should also be looked at, says the special UN rapporteur for extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard in a report.

“The guilt has not yet been established. The only conclusion is that there is credible evidence and that further investigation is needed”, she writes. According to her, Crown Prince Mohammed played a key role in the campaign against dissidents. She considers it unthinkable that an operation like this could take place without his knowledge.

Saudi Arabia did not cooperate in the investigation. Callamard was not allowed to interrogate people in that country. She was also not allowed to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was murdered on October 2 last year.

She did have access to sound recordings made by the Turkish secret service in the consulate. Khashoggi came to the consulate in Istanbul to arrange papers for his marriage. According to Callamard, two Saudi secret agents spoke shortly before his arrival how they would cut his body into pieces.

Once inside, Khashoggi was told that he would be taken to Saudi Arabia, the recordings show. His interrogator instructed him to send an email to his son. Then sounds of struggle can be heard. Khashoggi must have been killed afterwards. His remains have not been found.

Eleven suspects are on trial for the murder in Saudi Arabia. That happens behind closed doors. The names of most suspects were not disclosed.

So, there is a kangaroo court trial for a few low-level fall guys. Aiming at beheading them, so they won’t ever be able to tell who (His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman) ordered them to murder Khashoggi.

CALL FOR SAUDI PRINCE TO BE INVESTIGATED OVER KHASHOGGI DEATH An independent UN human rights expert investigating the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is calling for an investigation into the possible involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, citing “credible evidence”. [AP]

German Walter Lübcke, murdered by neo-nazi terrorism


This 17 June 2018 German video is about the neo-nazi who is suspect of murdering Walter Lübcke.

By Johannes Stern and Peter Schwarz in Germany:

The murder of Walter Lübcke and the right-wing terror networks in the German state apparatus

18 June 2019

Two weeks after the murder of German regional politician Walter Lübcke, the district administrative president in Kassel, all evidence suggests that the CDU politician was shot by a neo-Nazi, who was known to the security services for 25 years, had a long history of criminal activity, and has connections with right-wing extremist terrorist groups.

On Saturday morning, 45-year-old Stephan E. was arrested, under the strong suspicion that he had maliciously killed Lübcke with a shot to the head during the night of June 1-2, 2019. Prior to the arrest, the public prosecutor in Kassel and the 50-person emergency commission established to investigate the murder, repeatedly claimed that they suspected someone with personal ties to Lübcke. But after traces of Stephan E.’s DNA were found at the crime scene, this version of events could no longer be sustained.

On Monday, the federal public prosecutor in Karlsruhe took over the case. The Karlsruhe office is responsible for investigating terrorist acts that endanger the internal or external security of the Federal Republic. It is obvious that the decision was also aimed at concealing the intimate ties between terrorist organisations, intelligence agencies and the state. Thus far, there was “nothing to indicate that the accused could have been involved in a right-wing terrorist organisation,” the federal public prosecutor declared in an initial statement.

In the five-year trial against the National Socialist Underground—a neo-Nazi terrorist group responsible for 10 murders, two bombings, and a series of bank robberies—the federal public prosecutor did everything possible to avoid examining the role of the security agencies in these events, even though it was the intelligence services’ actions that made the murders possible in the first place.

In the case of Stephan E., it has already been established that he has a long record of neo-Nazi criminality, has enjoyed close ties to right-wing extremist groups, and has been known to the authorities for many years.

At the age of just 20, in 1993, he attacked an asylum seeker accommodation centre in Hohenstein-Steckenroth with a pipe bomb. The bomb was concealed in a burning car, which residents of the centre were able to extinguish just before the blast occurred. As a result, he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, in a juvenile prison, for attempted murder and attempting to cause a bomb explosion.

Prior to this, Stephan E was known as a right-wing extremist. He had been convicted of grievous bodily harm and another case of arson, directed against foreigners, as well as violating firearms legislation. In November 1992, he attacked a man in Wiesbaden with a knife, causing life-threatening injuries.

In 2009, he was sentenced to seven months in jail for attacking a May Day demonstration in Dortmund, together with 300 autonomous nationalists. Nevertheless, in spite of his previous convictions, his sentence was suspended. According to Spiegel Online, there has been no public record of him engaging in any extremist activity since then, which could well mean that he has been recruited as an informant.

Stephan E. maintained close ties to right-wing extremist and terrorist networks. According to Spiegel Online, he was not only active in the Hesse NPD, a neo-Nazi party, and the autonomous nationalists, but also had relations with members of the militant neo-Nazi group, Combat 18.

Combat 18 emerged in Britain during the 1990s. The number 18 refers to the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, Adolf Hitler’s initials. In Germany, this was among the most important right-wing extremist groups at the turn of the century. It was close to the Network Blood and Honour, which played a crucial role in supporting the NSU.

Combat 18 was banned 17 years ago, but, in recent years, it has increased its activity without any intervention from the authorities. Combat 18 is a classic example of how right-wing terrorist groups can operate unhindered, with obvious support from the state.

When the Left Party tabled a question on this issue on 21 December 2016, the federal government replied that a network called Combat 18 had existed since 2013, with members from North-Rhein Westphalia, Hesse, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Palatinate and Lower Saxony. Nonetheless, neither the federal public prosecutor nor the federal criminal police launched any investigation into its structures or active members. No concrete evidence is known of investigations in any of these states. Only the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s federal domestic intelligence agency, has observed the group, suggesting that informants were, and remain, active in the group. Spiegel Online published several detailed articles on Combat 18, and the public broadcaster ARD’s Panorama produced a film report last year that revealed Combat 18 members practicing shooting in the Czech Republic.

This is the 20 July 2018 ARD video on Combat 18 practicing shooting.

The film also displayed some of its members during a trial for the illegal seizure of munitions. According to Panorama, 25 people from across Germany had transferred money into a bank account at the Kasseler Spaarkasse to support Combat 18. The account holder, known neo-Nazi Stanley R., has been convicted of extortion, grievous bodily harm, and theft.

But, again, nothing was done. Although Combat 18 was officially banned, the authorities continued to allow it to operate.

Although the evidence that has come to light thus far points to a right-wing extremist terrorist attack on Lübcke, the federal government is seeking to downplay the importance of these events. “The investigators now have someone under strong suspicion in custody, and we shouldn’t burden their work with additional speculation,” government spokesman Stefan Seibert insisted at a press conference. “A political assessment is not what we need right now.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel merely stated that she hoped “it will be quickly clarified who shot Mr. Lübcke and why.” The opposition parties demanded an emergency sitting of the parliamentary interior committee. “Given the dramatic and unsettling developments in the Lübcke case” this was unavoidable, the Green Party’s deputy parliamentary leader, Konstantin von Notz declared. The federal government had refused for too long “to openly present to parliament the structures and potential for violence within the right-wing extremist scene,” Free Democrats’ interior affairs expert Benjamin Strasser commented.

The reality is that the entire ruling class is responsible for the rise of the far-right and the reactionary political climate within which this murder could occur. The establishment parties have not only embraced the far-right AfD’s policies and agitation against refugees. They have also ever more explicitly backed the right-wing extremist party. A neo-Nazi terrorist cell has even been formed in the army around the officer Franco A.

Significantly, a day prior to the arrest of Stephan E., Der Spiegel published an interview with former German President Joachim Gauck, who called for “more tolerance towards the right wing.” This was an explicit reference to the AfD and the Pegida movement. Representatives of both these organisations had waged an unrestrained hate campaign against Lübcke, after he spoke out in defence of the rights of refugees at a public forum in 2015.

Among the agitators was the former CDU politician and president of the League of the Persecuted [a far-right anti-Polish organisation], Erica Steinbach, who now leads the AfD’s Desiderius Erasmus Foundation. Steinbach posted a series of criticisms of Lübcke earlier this year, and delayed deleting comments from others that threatened him with murder.

Steinbach’s Facebook friends include the right-wing extremist Humboldt University Professor Jörg Baberowski, who is notorious forhis trivialisation of the Nazis and his agitation against refugees in the manner of the AfD. Despite this, the federal government leant its backing to the right-wing extremist professor at the end of May, publishing an official statement that declared all criticism of him to be “an attack on the free democratic order.”

The same right-wing extremist spirit pervades the current Secret Service report, overseen by the governing grand coalition. While the AfD, along with its right-wing extremist supporters, is merely mentioned as the “victim” of alleged “left-wing extremism,” all opposition to capitalism, nationalism, militarism, and imperialism is now being denounced as “left-wing extremist” and “unconstitutional.”

Lübcke’s murder must be taken as a serious warning. In the final analysis, it is the result of the systematic rehabilitation of fascist politics by the ruling class. Under conditions of the deepest capitalist crisis since the 1930s, mounting tensions between the major powers, and social opposition to social inequality and militarism, influential circles in government, the military, the intelligence agencies, and the universities are working systematically to strengthen the right-wing extremists.

The bloody consequences of these policies will not stop them. As occurred during the Weimar Republic, when the state apparatus was strengthened, following the murders of Centre Party politician Matthias Erzberger and liberal Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau by right-wing terror organisations, this situation will be exploited to intensify the crackdown against the left. The AfD’s interior policy spokesman, Martin Hess, has already demanded that the parliamentary committee for internal affairs be used “to combat extremism, regardless of the form it takes.”

Although it was clear from the outset that Lübcke had been the target of hate campaigns by right-wing extremists and had received several death threats, it took two weeks for the federal public prosecutor to take over the case due to its “special significance.” Prior to this decision, the investigators focused on the victim’s personal ties, as was done during the investigations into the murders carried out by the right-wing extremist National Socialist Underground. The media treated the cold-blooded execution of a high-ranking politician as a non-event. Only when the right-wing extremist connection to the crime could no longer be denied, after the DNA of a neo-Nazi known to the police due to his long record of criminal offences led to him being designated the prime suspect, did the investigators and media change tack. The federal prosecutor is now attempting to spread the myth of an individual perpetrator. Thus far, there is “nothing to indicate that the accused could have been involved in a right-wing terrorist organisation,” said a spokesperson for the federal public prosecutor, even though the suspect’s biography tells a different story: here.