A group of police officers in the German city of Frankfurt allegedly shared neo-Nazi messages and images, and used a police database to access private information which they then used to threaten a lawyer.
According to the Frankfurt New Press, state police investigators launched a probe after Turkish-German lawyer Seda Basay-Yildiz received a threat via fax, in which a group called “NSU 2.0” threatened to “slaughter [her] daughter” unless she left Germany. Basay-Yildiz told the FNP that the name of her daughter and her home address were not public information, so she filed a police report.
State investigators eventually discovered a police computer in central Frankfurt which had been used to look up Basay-Yildiz’s personal information without an official motive. This in turn led them to a group of four policemen and one policewoman who, in addition to threatening Basay-Yildiz, had also allegedly shared texts, images and symbols that included far-right and neo-Nazi material.
The fact that the group signed the letter as “NSU 2.0” is also significant, as it refers to the National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi terror cell which was active for 13 years and responsible for 10 murders, including that of a policewoman.
The officers in question have since been suspended. However, law enforcement officials told the Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) newspaper that there was a significant possibility that the case could end up being one of “much greater dimensions.” According to FAZ, the extent of the investigation is only being revealed now because there were concerns that public knowledge of the case could seriously undermine it.
This isn’t the first time this year that German law enforcement has seen alleged far-right infiltration. In August, a corrections officer was suspended after it emerged that he had allegedly leaked an arrest warrant for an Iraqi suspect in a stabbing in the eastern Germany city of Chemnitz. The leaked warrant spread quickly among far-right groups who responded with violent protests, allegedly targeting anyone who didn’t look German.
In August, an off-duty police officer who was taking part in a demonstration with the Islamaphobic group Pegida reported a German camera crew filming the incident to the police. The German TV crew was then detained for 45 minutes, despite the fact that it was completely legal for them film the demonstrations.
A 2017 report from the German Military Counterintelligence Service MAD revealed it was also investigating nearly 300 cases of right-wing extremism in the German armed forces between 2016 and 2017.
Far-right infiltration isn’t an issue confined to Germany either. Last September, British police arrested four soldiers who were active members of the neo-Nazi terror group National Action. According to prosecutors, the group were allegedly stockpiling weapons and Nazi memorabilia in preparation for a supposed race war.