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Activists offer cash for info on tank makers
Photo: DPA

Activists offer cash for info on tank makers

Published: 19 Jun 2012 16:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Jun 2012 16:59 GMT+02:00

A group of activists has offered a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the German arms manufacturers reportedly planning to deliver up to 800 tanks to Saudi Arabia - and sent one of the company's owners a bullet by post.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Tuesday that Burkhart Braunbehrens, one of the owners of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), received a padded envelope from the "Centre for Political Beauty" (ZPS), containing a bullet and a stained note that read, "Your deals give children and their parents no chance for a happy life."

KMW is thought to be contracted to deliver 200 state-of-the-art Leopard 2-A7+ tanks to Saudi Arabia - and the German media reported last weekend that the Middle Eastern state is planning to buy up to 800 of the 60-tonne German-made tanks.

The German government has refused to comment on the reports, saying arms deals are confidential, while a KMW spokesman insisted there is no contract with the Saudis.

Last month ZPS publicly offered €25,000 for information leading to the imprisonment of the owners of KMW. "The owners belong in prison for some of the dirtiest arms deals in recent German history," said Philipp Ruch, who calls himself ZPS's "chief negotiator."

Ruch says that the collective have already received about 70 pieces of information about KMW's various owners and published them on their website.

Of the owners profiled, only Braunbehrens, an artist himself, has reacted to the activists. Speaking to state broadcaster ZDF, the 71-year-old condemned the ZPS campaign as using "mafia tactics," and said "that is stepping across the line."

But even he as a co-owner of the manufacturer admitted that exporting Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia was "irresponsible."

The artist agreed that such a deal would be "an affront to the Arab rebellion," but argued that his influence on KMW's management was "very limited." He also claimed that he had written a letter to German President Joachim Gauck asking him to block the deal.

Left-wing daily newspaper taz reported last week that Braunbehrens had been removed from KMW's Member's Council for publicly opposing some of the company's potential deals. Neither KMW or Braunbehrens have yet confirmed this, though.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:31 June 19, 2012 by Bushdiver
No need to worry. If something goes wrong and the tanks are used in an offensive matter Merkal will send in the German military to reclaim the tanks.
19:33 June 19, 2012 by rfwilson
@ Bushdiver

The fact that you can't even spell Merkel's name, really adds credence to your lame post!
19:38 June 19, 2012 by Englishted
@rfwilson

Did you mean lamp post?
19:51 June 19, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
When we decide to hammer our tanks into lamp posts, the world will be a better place.
20:06 June 19, 2012 by avatar009
Graeting all;

I think those tank is to kill future Civilian uprise, because the time of the dictators is drawing near.
21:16 June 19, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Tanks don't kill people... people kill people. I am against "tank control."
22:35 June 19, 2012 by Jerr-Berlin
An avatar009...

good call...the US has JSOC soldiers in over 120 countries...the US is the number 1 arms supplier...about 75 to 80 % of the market....not counting the "proxie" wars in over 120 countries...the US has always supported puppet governments and their henchmen...especially in the Middle East since WW2...
23:38 June 19, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Yes, that is important to take away from the article how BAD the US is. But, why no Israel bashing?

Yes, the Puppet Governments in Greece Italy Spain, yes they were set up by the CIA and BILD.
00:00 June 20, 2012 by green idea factory
The people making the submarines for the Israeli Navy need to get the same treatment.
01:06 June 20, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Look, if Israel does not have the subs, then how can they retaliate if they are surprise attacked?

Perhaps we should be happy they have the subs because then they might scrap the "Samson" / 360 degree approach if they are attacked which means they release 300 + nukes in 360 degrees.

That is an unpleasant thought.
01:11 June 20, 2012 by MrPC
Yes, lets KO the tank deal and cripple the Saudi King's ability to control his people who, after all, are generally in agreement in Al Queda. Whatever happened to the idea that allies in critical areas of the world with critical resources need to be supported?
05:46 June 20, 2012 by Buddy Dickerson
The Issue is NOT TANKS

Let's start by demanding the USG and the media answer the hard question first …. Was there ever a real Arab Spring that was a people movement? Or was the movement fabricated by outside influence? Why no Arab Spring in Iran? Why failure in Libya? Has something backfired in a backroom agreement somewhere in Egypt?

As an American, we know real people movements and I know that today the biggest movement in America stems from a man named Mohammad Goldstein. In The Plot to Overthrow this man bluntly tells the world who a Jew IS and what a Muslim really IS. Obama, all senators, and congressmen all have hard copies, and you can get it for nuttin on the net it will blow your political mind about Americas world role and is laced with "inside" truth about Washington.

There is real intelligent change taking place in America and it took this one man to bluntly tell the world about the inner working of Washington. This document about Washington is so revealing that he has gone into hiding. Arab Spring? Go get the document it will knock the silly out of your politics.
11:06 June 20, 2012 by PateraSilk
"When we decide to hammer our tanks into lamp posts, the world will be a better place"

Why would dark streets at night make a better place?

These people should be ashamed. 800 Leopard tanks imply so many German manufacturing jobs, but I'm sure their "collective" will want to pay more taxes to pay for the unemployment benefits when the factory closes.
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