Germany to dissolve special forces unit over far-right links




BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's defence minister plans to disband a company of its elite KSK special forces in a effort to purge them of a persistent problem of far-right extremism, a ministry document obtained by Reuters on Tuesday showed.

Established in 1996, the KSK's reputation was tarnished in 2003 when its then-commander was forced into early retirement after being accused of being close to far-right extremists - links that have continued to dog the unit's reputation since.

In May, police seized weapons, explosives and ammunition during a raid on the private property of a KSK soldier in the eastern state of Saxony. There have been several recent far-right incidents in the unit, the ministry document showed.

"The second company will be disbanded," Defence State Secretary Peter Tauber wrote in the document.

"An analysis of current events and right-wing extremist cases makes it clear...that the KSK, at least in some areas, has become independent in recent few years, under the influence of an unhealthy understanding of elites by individual leaders."

In June, a KSK captain asked Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to intervene in a 10-page letter in which he accused instructors and senior commandos in the unit of cultivating a "toxic culture of acceptance" under which complaints about far right influence were suppressed.

Germany is trying to stem a rise in violent far-right ideology. In February, a 43-year-old racist shot dead nine people with immigrant backgrounds in the town of Hanau before killing his mother and himself.

As part of Kramp-Karrenbauer's crackdown on the far right, KSK operations will be moved to other units as far as possible and the commando unit's exercises and international cooperation endeavours will be suspended until further notice.

The KSK aims to be 1,000-strong but has never been that big due to tough selection tests.



(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Germany to revamp financial oversight after Wirecard scandal
Germany to revamp financial oversight after Wirecard scandal

Germany's finance minister says he wants to revamp the oversight system for the country's financial industry in the wake of the accounting scandal at payment systems provider Wirecard. The Munich-based Wirecard filed for bankruptcy recently after auditors couldn't find accounts in the Philippines that were supposed to contain 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion). Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in an interview published Sunday that he wants to empower the country's financial supervisory authority, BaFin, to conduct unannounced checks at any moment.

America
America's World War II Nightmare: Hitler Tries to Invade the U.S. Homeland

Invading a country doesn't guarantee success.

Germany
Germany's coal exit plan becomes law

Germany's lower and upper houses of parliament formally approved a law on Friday on ending coal burning by 2038. It implements last year's climate protection package that the coalition government passed to set Europe's biggest economy on a course to meet climate targets. Germany aims to cut greenhouse emissions by 2030 by 55% across all sectors from 1990 levels and to reach a share of 65% of renewables in power generation.

It Would Cost Trillions: The Day North Korea Collapses
It Would Cost Trillions: The Day North Korea Collapses
  • World
  • 2020-07-03 09:30:00Z

The prospect of a peaceful Korean Unification, however remote it seems, would be a historical event worth planning for. While preparing for the worst, we should hope for the best. Hoping for the best means there is a scenario where North Korea's collapse and regime change occur miraculously, opening doors to South Korea and the West to take over North Korea in what one hopes would be a peaceful absorption. As unlikely as this sounds, it is important to remember that it is not without historical precedent.

Nord Stream 2 Could Sever Transatlantic Ties
Nord Stream 2 Could Sever Transatlantic Ties
  • World
  • 2020-07-03 05:30:22Z

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- U.S. President Donald Trump is furious at Germany for many reasons, not all of them fathomable. In phone conversations with Angela Merkel, he's allegedly called the German chancellor "stupid" and denigrated her in "near-sadistic" tones. Though this be madness, as the Bard might say, there is - on rare occasions - method in it. One such case is Nord Stream 2.It is an almost-finished gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany, running right next to the original Nord Stream, which has been in operation since 2011. "We're supposed to protect Germany from Russia, but Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for energy coming from a pipeline," Trump...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America