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Neo-Nazi terrorism sparks calls for NPD ban

The Local · 14 Nov 2011, 12:18

Published: 14 Nov 2011 10:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2011 12:18 GMT+01:00

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Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich admitted gross failures by the security services after revelations of a decade-long killing spree by neo-Nazis.

"It is deeply troubling that there was no connection made between the murder series across Germany and the far-right scene in Thuringia," the east German state where the trio was based, Friedrich told the daily Bild. "State interior ministers are calling for better coordination between police and domestic intelligence on the state level. I strongly back that."

Friedrich said it was still unclear whether a group of extremists who admitted gunning down nine businessmen of foreign origin and a policewoman had a larger network behind them.

“The loved ones of the victims can be sure that (Germany) will do everything to get to the bottom of this affair,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told the ARD television network late on Sunday. At party conference on Monday she called the episode "shameful for Germany."

Four suspects – two of whom killed themselves last week – are suspected of involvement in a series of killings, including foreign shopkeepers from 2000 to 2006 and a policewoman in 2007. The two living suspects have been arrested and are currently in police custody. They were all allegedly part of a subversive group called the National Socialist Underground (NSU).

There have been suggestions that the suspects had connections with domestic intelligence agencies and Thomas Oppermann, the head of the opposition Social Democrats' parliamentary grouping, told the Bild newspaper he was seeking a special meeting of the parliamentary committee overseeing the secret services.

"I want to know what the authorities knew and how such criminal acts can better be prevented in future," he told the paper.

Friedrich described the so-called "döner kebab murders," as "new form of extreme-right terror" and said all unsolved crimes in Germany since 1998 suspected of being xenophobic should be reviewed to see whether they can be connected to the group.

Meanwhile Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called for officials to discuss how to ban the NPD, despite there being no apparent direct link between the suspects and the party.

"I am for setting the NPD ban back on the agenda,” Herrmann said.

Discussion of the issue comes at a critical time for the NPD, which over the weekend ousted long-time leader Udo Voigt from the party chairmanship. Instead, 40-year-old Holger Apfel, head of the party in the Saxony state legislature, has taken the reins of the party.

German authorities tried to ban the extreme-right party before but failed in 2003 when the Federal Constitutional Court determined that state-affiliated informants were playing major roles in the party’s leadership.

In order for a ban to be successful, the state would need to convince the court, which is the only body with the power to ban parties deemed unconstitutional.

The GdP police union said a ban could be helpful because it would prevent the party from openly organising congresses and strip it of its financial base.

But Cem Özdemir, the leader of the Green party in Germany played down the possibility of a ban, saying “we have to discuss how the NPD and right-wing extremists have become socially hegemonic, especially in the eastern part of our republic.”

Story continues below…

The head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, said

the problem of far-right "terrorism" had been "chronically underestimated" in

Germany while the focus was on Islamic militants, in the daily Neue

Osnabrücker Zeitung.

DPA/AFP/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:25 November 14, 2011 by freechoice
they need counselling, not banning or exclusion. Only Jesus love can fill their senseless hatred.
12:06 November 14, 2011 by Frenemy
Only "Jesus' love"??? lol, you sure 'bout that?
12:11 November 14, 2011 by Jibzy
I'm sure about that too. Ask those 300 deaf children who DID get some Jesus love.
12:25 November 14, 2011 by nolibs
I'm not sure the word "terror" applies here. Flying airplanes into skyscrapers is terror. Blowing up trains and buses is terror as well. Terrorism is a means to put terror into the hearts of minds of victims. One murder a year (horrendous as it is) doesn't put terror into people.

The murderers of these poor individuals should be brought to justice, but German society should be just as careful about using this as a reason to ban the NPD or other groups that leftist politicians don't agree with.
12:53 November 14, 2011 by Jehanzeb
Flying airplanes into buildings = Killing of innocent people by far-right

Terrorism is a universal concept. Don't try to limit it to a given set or religion. If you pretend that this is not part of a larger home-grown epidemic then you will have countless of of similar incidents in the future.
13:06 November 14, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
> One murder a year (horrendous as it is) doesn't put terror into people.

I am guessing that a Thuringia kebab shop owner may have a different perspective.
13:43 November 14, 2011 by freechoice
nothing is more fearful than the current financial terror that is plauging europe right now. this terror will make you lose your job, your home, and your family. that is the worse terror of them all.
13:46 November 14, 2011 by nemo999
Let's pass another law that does not get enforced, that will show them.

Instead of waiting for the facts why don't we just act on our emotions and have one giant knee jerk reaction.

By all means let us throw out common sense, possibly the rule of law, and a careful and considered response to the issues that would incline a percentage of the population to adopt this cause.
14:16 November 14, 2011 by Icarusty
Jesus was an Arab. I doubt these lot would want his love.
14:28 November 14, 2011 by freechoice
nonsense, He is the Son of God! Race is irrelevant to Him.
14:32 November 14, 2011 by SchwabHallRocks
I'm not sure if it's Germans in general, or just certain writers to the Local, who seem to have a fascination with calling something "left" or "right" (like in France and USA where everything has to be first be labeled "Liberal" or "Conservative").

Everyone then seems to argue about the label, in the Local, rather than the issue itself.

Was Jesus a leftie or a rightie, a liberal or a conservative? Both, depending on the issue. So are we.
17:19 November 14, 2011 by Frenemy
@freechoice: No, the "worst terror" is zealous religious nut-jobs like you imposing their ideology on the rest of us...
20:02 November 14, 2011 by Englishted

20:31 November 14, 2011 by storymann
I can't believe they pass this off as a threat more like a few miss fits gone off the reservation.
12:52 November 15, 2011 by Netzwerk
Previous attempts by the ban were unsuccessful. One should not again launch a failed attempt. It only strengthens the position of this party.
03:33 November 16, 2011 by eisenhowerthakur
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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