The Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday that the training might be connected to Libyan’s mediation in securing the release of three Germans who were part of a group taken hostage by extremists in the southern Philippines in 2000.
According to the paper, then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi spoke in 2004 about the training at an official meeting.
Payback is normal operating procedure for help in hostage releases, the paper wrote, citing unnamed sources close to the government. Berlin “owed something” to Qaddafi for his help in the situation, the paper wrote, quoting a source.
The hostages in question were three members of the Wallert family, who were among 21 western tourists kidnapped on the Philippine island of Jolo in 2000.
The scandal continues to grow and criticism is now being directed at German diplomats. According to a report in the newsmagazine Der Spiegel, the German embassy in Tripoli was aware of the program and were involved in detailed discussions with trainers.
Allegedly, former members of Germany’s GSG-9, the country’s elite anti-terror unit, founded a private security company that paid police and others on a freelance basis to do training for up €15,000 per trip. The policemen allegedly conducted the training without the knowledge of their superiors while on holiday or after taking unpaid leave.