• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Neo-Nazi gang's TNT man 'talked to cops'

The Local · 14 Sep 2012, 10:10

Published: 14 Sep 2012 10:10 GMT+02:00

The 44-year-old man, named only as Thomas S., was a paid informant for the Berlin criminal police (LKA) between 2000 and 2011, Der Spiegel reported.

He has admitted to having supplied the gang with TNT between the end of 1996 and 1999, during which time he also had a romantic relationship with one of the gang. Although he did not tell his handlers about the explosives, he did give them several tips about where the gang was – but the Berlin authorities failed to pass this on to colleagues who were actively hunting the trio.

Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe formed a gang calling itself the National Socialist Underground – they were all known figures in the eastern German neo-Nazi scene.

After their explosives were discovered in a garage, the trio went underground and were helped by various other neo-Nazis. They are thought to have killed eight shopkeepers of Turkish origin and one man from Greece in towns across the country, by walking up to them and shooting them in the head.

Police failed to link the killings and rather than considering a far-right background, assumed they were linked to foreign criminals, or even “clan conflicts.”

The NSU are also the top suspects in the 2007 murder of a policewoman who was shot and killed in her car.

The gang carried out bank robberies to fund their secret lives, and the case was only blown open when one of those robberies went wrong and the two men were surrounded by police in a caravan. One shot the other and then killed himself, leaving Zschäpe to allegedly blow up the flat they shared.

She then handed herself in to the police and now faces a range of charges including murder.

Not only was Germany rocked by the presence and effectiveness of a neo-Nazi murder gang in its midst, the entire police and intelligence structures are slowly and reluctantly giving up their secrets.

The authorities have been embarrassed by multiple links to numerous neo-Nazis, many of whom were paid for information. Investigations have also unearthed a host of clues that investigators failed to pass on and which might have led to the gang.

There was also a file-shredding scandal as the parliamentary investigative committee started its work.

Several top intelligence officials including Heinz Fromm, president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), have stepped down over their failure to stop the killings and the botched investigations.

The parliamentary committee only discovered on Thursday that Thomas S. had been an informant for the Berlin LKA – and it was not the Berlin LKA that told them, but the federal prosecutor. This has left the committee infuriated.

It now appears Thomas S. gave them clear hints about how to find the gang three times, Der Spiegel said – between 2002 and 2005, but that none of this information was passed on to colleagues in Saxony actively looking for the trio.

Story continues below…

He was “deactivated” as an informant in January 2011. The NSU was uncovered in November 2011 – but it took until March 2012 before the Berlin BKA gave their files on him to the federal prosecutor.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung also reported on Tuesday that the German Military Counter-intelligence Service (MAD) tried to recruit NSU member Mundlos as a mole in Germany's far-right scene during the 1990s. MAD also suppressed the file, despite the parliamentary investigation.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

03:00 September 15, 2012 by marimay
Huh... Nothing but the sound of crickets in this post's comment section.

I guess it's because these terrorists were German.

Ah, well...
17:10 October 29, 2012 by Beachspirit
Just another german news story of skinheads............. epidemic is increasing in germany.
Today's headlines
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,751
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd