10 August 2020
The far-right Nordkreuz group, which was made up of some 30 members including officials from law enforcement authorities and the military, came under investigation from prosecutors in 2017. Despite alleged plans for a 'Day X', involving plots to round up and kill politicians and migrants, only two members of the group currently face terrorism charges.
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Body Bags and Enemy Lists: How Far-Right Police Officers and Ex-Soldiers Planned for ‘Day X’ (New York Times, link):
"GÜSTROW, Germany — The plan sounded frighteningly concrete. The group would round up political enemies and those defending migrants and refugees, put them on trucks and drive them to a secret location.
Then they would kill them.
On the surface, those discussing the plan seemed reputable. One was a lawyer and local politician, but with a special hatred of immigrants. Two were active army reservists. Two others were police officers, including Marko Gross, a police sniper and former parachutist who acted as their unofficial leader.
Germany has belatedly begun dealing with far-right networks that officials now say are far more extensive than they ever understood. The reach of far-right extremists into its armed forces is particularly alarming in a country that has worked to cleanse itself of its Nazi past and the horrors of the Holocaust. In July the government disbanded an entire company infiltrated by extremists in the nation’s special forces.
But the Nordkreuz case, which only recently came to trial after being uncovered more than three years ago, shows that the problem of far-right infiltration is neither new nor confined to the KSK, or even the military.
Late last year, Mr. Gross was handed a 21-month suspended sentence. The verdict was so mild that this year state prosecutors appealed it, kicking the case into another protracted round of deliberations.
Of some 30 Nordkreuz members, only two others, a lawyer and another police officer, are currently under investigation by the federal prosecutor on suspicion of plotting terrorism.
The outcome is typical of the authorities’ handling of far-right cases, extremism experts say. The charges brought are often woefully narrow for the elaborate plots they are meant to deter and punish. Almost always they focus on individuals, not the networks themselves.
But the obstacles to prosecuting such cases more aggressively point to another problem making the German authorities increasingly anxious: Infiltration of the very institutions, like the police, that are supposed to be doing the investigating."
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