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17 Dec, 2018 11:41

German Criminal Police probe officers over right-wing extremism, Hitler pics – media

German Criminal Police probe officers over right-wing extremism, Hitler pics – media

The German State Criminal Police (LKA) has reportedly taken over a probe of five police officers suspected of sharing extremist content. The case is linked to threatening letters allegedly sent to a lawyer of Turkish descent.

LKA is now leading the investigation into the respective officers, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Previous media reports said that four male and a female officer belonging to the city’s 1st Police District used WhatsApp messenger to post xenophobic messages and far-right imagery, with swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler among them.

All suspects were reportedly suspended from duty. The investigation involves house searches, as well as seizure of cell phones and hard drives.

The probe is said to have been triggered after several threatening letters were sent to Seda Basay-Yildiz, a lawyer of Turkish descent who defended suspects of Islamist terrorism and the victims of far-right attacks.

In one of the cases, she was on the legal team, representing a former bodyguard of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

“You're not going to destroy Germany. You better piss off as long as you can still get out of here alive, you swine!” one the letters faxed to Basay-Yildiz back in August said.

The messages referred to the lawyer as “dirty Turkish sow” and contained her private address and threats to “slay” her daughter.

The letters were signed with ‘NSU 2.0’, which is a reference to neo-Nazi terror group National Socialist Underground, active in the 2000s. In July, one of the group’s members, Beate Zschaepe was found guilty of 10 racially-motivated murders and given a life sentence. Seda Basay-Yildiz represented a family of one of the victims at the trial.

It is unclear whether the members of the Frankfurt police were responsible for threatening the lawyer, but the investigators reportedly discovered that a female officer – belonging to the group – used an internal police database to look up Basay-Yildiz’s personal data without authorization. Police apparently don’t rule out the possibility of the investigation having a “much greater dimension” in the end.

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It is not the first time concerns were raised over far-right extremist ideology being spread by German police and military personnel. Last year, the Bundeswehr was conducting an investigation into more than 250 cases of suspected far-right activity within its own ranks. The incidents, described by the Defense Ministry in a letter to parliament, included soldiers allegedly chanting neo-Nazi slogans and posting racist comments on Facebook.

Last month, German media reported that police have uncovered a clandestine far-right network, composed of members of an elite special ops unit and army veterans, who allegedly planned to assassinate several of the nation’s top politicians.

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