• Germany's news in English

Neo-Nazi terror cell 'may have been bigger'

The Local · 18 Nov 2011, 15:11

Published: 18 Nov 2011 15:11 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Harald Range, who was sworn in as the new head of the country’s prosecution service just this week, said further suspects were being investigated – other than Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt who killed themselves, and their close companion Beate Zschäpe, as well as Holger G., said to be a supporter.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Range's comments on Friday as he met in Berlin with the interior and justice ministers from all 16 states as well as their federal counterparts. At a crisis meeting, they discussed what lessons to learn from revelations about how the cell managed to operate for more than a decade.

Asked whether there were more suspects involved in self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU) who hadn't been publicly revealed yet, Range replied, “Two plus two.”

It is thought that surveillance measures are already in place as part of the investigation of the other suspects, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

The group is said to have killed eight Turkish-German and one Greek-German shopkeepers as well as a policewoman between 2000 and 2007, while a nail bomb attack in Cologne is also thought to have been their work. Other attacks with xenophobic characteristics are being examined to see if they are connected to the NSU..

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich announced on Friday that not only would a central register of far-right extremists be introduced, but a centre would also be established to coordinate police and intelligence services fighting neo-Nazi violence.

And Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told the Süddeutsche Zeitung she was seriously considering how operations could be reformed in the national domestic intelligence agency, the Verfassungsschutz as well as the 16 state controlled agencies..

Rather than 16 state offices, “one could also consider three or four,” she said, arguing that the current system had failed.

“The whole alarm system against the far-right failed to function," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger added. "We have a scandal that is expanding.”

She said that it was incredible that the NSU had managed to kill people for more than a decade.

"32 state police and intelligence agencies did not manage to stop a series of far-right murders,” she said.

Politicians had “obviously underestimated” the dimensions of far-right extremism, she said, while criticising what she said had been a doubling up of responsibilities and a lack of efficiency.

Story continues below…

Head of the Federal Police (BKA), Jörg Ziercke contradicted reports that the NSU had compiled a "death list" after investigators said on Wednesday they had found an 88-strong list of politicians and minority representatives in the rubble of the NSU-occupied flat in Zwickau, Saxony.

He said a list dating from 2005 with more than 10,000 names and addresses had been found in the flat, but insisted that it was not a death list – although he said it could have served as a kind of planning aid in deciding on murders carried out in the years after it was compiled.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd