National Socialist Underground

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The National Socialist Underground (NSU) was a terrorist group stated to have had 3 members, who lived together and who committed 10 murders, mostly of Turkish and Kurdish small business owners, during the 2000 to 2007 period in Germany. Unusually for a terrorist group, the group did not claim responsibility or state a motive for the crimes, contributing to the police initially suspecting the Turkish mafia. There has been controversy regarding the role of German domestic intelligence services, paid informants, and claimed cover-ups, such as of claimed mistakes during the investigation, claimed awareness of some aspects of the crimes, claimed illegal activities, and/or claimed agent provocateur incitement and support.

The only surviving member of the trio in court "denied prior knowledge, saying that in every case she only found out some time afterwards, when they told her. She describes herself as being "speechless and stunned." She denied that the NSU was an organized group or that she was or is a member, saying it was entirely Mundlos's idea to call the group such and that Böhnhardt is the only other person who could be considered a member."[1]

In 2018, she was found guilty and given a life sentence. Her attorney stated that she would appeal and that "Ms. Zschäpe did not plan any murders, she did not get any guns, she did not participate in the deeds. She was not even close to even a crime scene and has not controlled the crimes of Mundlos and Böhnhardt from the kitchen table." Three other defendants, stated to have connections with the domestic intelligence services, were given sentences for assisting the NSU, such as by providing a gun.[2]

A 2016 article stated that "This week, after some five years of preparation, the German Bundesrat finally asked the Federal constitutional court in Karlsruhe to ban the National Democratic party of Germany (NPD) [...] The previous attempt to have the party banned, which lasted from 2001 until 2003, ended with the case being thrown out because the NPD was so infiltrated by intelligence service informers that the court could not distinguish between the party and the state. [...] Which leaves the question: why does the political establishment think it will be successful now? Undoubtedly it hopes that the shock over the NSU will help, even if the link with the NPD is tenuous at best (ie, “personal connections” between members of the NPD and NSU). [...] the main question of this court case, which undoubtedly will take several years, will be the same one that undermined its predecessor: will the court be able to clearly distinguish between party and state? Given the recent findings with regard to the NSU, that seems far from certain."[3]

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  1. Zschäpe admits guilt of the two Uwe's, apologizes!
  2. NSU “terror trial” limps to a close with predictable results
  3. Germany wants to ban the neo-Nazis of the NPD again, but why now?