Intelligence Shake-Up Official Fired Over Failed Neo-Nazi Investigation

The first head has rolled at Germany's domestic intelligence agency in response to its failure to track down an allegedly murderous neo-Nazi terrorist cell for over a decade. The departmental head in charge of right-wing extremism has been replaced by an expert on combating Islamist terrorists.

The neo-Nazi trio Beate Zschäpe ((L), Uwe Böhnhardt (C) and Uwe Mundlos eluded German authorities for over a decade.
dapd/ Ostthüringer Zeitung

The neo-Nazi trio Beate Zschäpe ((L), Uwe Böhnhardt (C) and Uwe Mundlos eluded German authorities for over a decade.


Germany's domestic intelligence agency, under fire for its failure to uncover a neo-Nazi cell that allegedly murdered at least 10 people since 2000, has relieved a senior official of his duties in the first staff change made in response to the affair.

At the end of 2011, the head of the agency, Heinz Fromm, removed Artur Hertwig as head of the department combating right-wing extremism. He has been replaced by Dinchen Franziska Büddefeld, who has experience in investigating Islamist terror cells and is versed in cooperating with the regional intelligence departments.

Hertwig had been in charge of the departments investigating left-wing and right-wing extremism, which were merged in 2006 and will now be separated again.

Fromm had conceded at the end of November that the agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, had made mistakes in the investigation of the group, now known as the Zwickau cell.

He said it had been unable to track down the members of the neo-Nazi trio, which called itself the National Socialist Underground, and had not obtained information on the people who had helped them elude the police and carry out their crimes.

SPIEGEL

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poliman 01/16/2012
1. What is Germany missing that the US is not
As a Turkish-American, I think German state is directly responsible for these murders by proxy by maintaining a system of tolerance to racism. My Turkish friends in Germany are much more distance to any integration idea today than last year from my recent conversations indicate. In fact, Germany lost almost a decade of assimilation timeline after how these murders were handled by its media and law enforcement. Instead of the intelligence head, It should have been the Interior Minister who should have to resign. There is no easy way to whitewash this.
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