How the German Army Goes Gangrenous With Extremism
In October 2021, the German federal prosecutor's office arrested two former Bundeswehr soldiers planning to create a terrorist group in Yemen. A few days prior to the arrests, authorities found radioactive materials and intelligence reports at an officer's home. Earlier that year, the image of the German Army was tarnished by revelations of a far-right network operating within it.
German military intelligence (MAD) revealed in January 2021, that there were at least 592 suspected far-right cases in the army in 2020. In March 2021, officials reported having identified 27 people as far-right extremists. The KSK, the most secretive unit in the army, was also identified as the biggest node of far right radicalization. German
Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced further investigation into extremist networks and said it was clear there was no place for anyone in the military who acted "in a radical way".
Terror plot in Yemen
Last October, German Federal Prosecutors said they had arrested two former soldiers who reportedly intended to recruit 150 fighters to work for foreign militaries. Their goal was to form a terrorist mercenary force to fight in Yemen's civil war. They attempted to organize a terror plot, funded by Saudi Arabia, under the guise of humanitarian operations. "The charges against the two leaders of the mercenary group are numerous and extremely serious," said Spiegel after investigating the case. The prosecutor's statement also highlighted that the two men, namely Arend-Adolf G and Achim A, were aware that the mission would implicate the killing of civilians in Yemen. Prosecutors said they planned to pay each member of their unit a wage of about €40,000 (£33,700; $46,400) a month for their services. "The German justice even suspected, among other accusations, that they were preparing a chemical attack in areas held by Houthi forces, the enemies of Riyadh." investigators were tipped off when one of the men who was approached to join the mercenary force alerted German intelligence. Both suspects have provided security to the Saudi embassy in Iraq while working for controversial German security company Asgaard.
North Korea Links
Another extremist uncovered within German ranks includes an officer with a particular interest in North Korea. Michael C. (33) was arrested in the village of Aldenhoven (Near Aachen). Investigators have discovered Strontium-90 at his home. The exact origin of the radioactive substance remains unclear. Numerous weapons, including Kalashnikov-type rapid-fire rifles, weapon parts, and chemicals, were also discovered during the raid. The arsenal contained anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons as well as defused grenades and ammunition. The material originates from Eastern Europe. The police also found two updated secret reports of the Federal Intelligence Service on North Korea and many books related to communism. The Frankfurt Public Prosecutor's Office confirmed that it was investigating a captain in Germany's Bundeswehr army for violating the military weapons control act as well as for the "unauthorized handling of radioactive material." The attention came to the authorities after the Frankfurt International Airport discovered a package of Silencers. The Officer attempted to mail it to an individual in the US, where it is illegal. Michael C. worked for the Bundeswehr at the Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices unit.
The Bundeswehr has been exposed for years concerning its infiltration by far-right Nazis among its troops. The recent discovery of an extreme right-wing network within the military has once again shaken the Army. The guard battalion, the Bundeswehr's elite drill unit, numbers nearly 1,000 troops in total; its members often call themselves the "protocol soldiers." They are part of the prestigious guard battalion that is publicly seen when Angela Merkel receives foreign guests at the Chancellery. The Defense Ministry announced, Germany is investigating a far-right extremist organization within the military's honor guard battalion and that the company had been removed from the protocol service.
The investigation reported the involvement of "several dozen soldiers." "The troops are also being investigated for sexual abuse," the Defense Ministry said. Among others, horrific accusations of burns with lighters, sexual assaults, racist remarks against Asian-origin soldiers are part of the allegations. According to Der Spiegel, a 32-year-old noncommissioned officer had been seen wearing a T-shirt showing a black sun with "Sonnenstudio 88" (Solarium 88) on the front and "We are brown" in German on the back. "The number 88 is supposed to correlate with HH ("Heil Hitler") as the eighth letter of the alphabet. The Nazi Party's initial paramilitary wing wore brown, and brown was the party's color in the Weimar Republic." As recent laws in Germany forbid the usage of Nazi symbols or gestures, far-right extremists use suggested references to Hitler or risk prosecution.
The new chancellor
In recent years, the Bundeswehr has been hit by repeated scandals involving radicalized troops belonging to far-right extremist groups or supporting extreme ideology. The next German Bundestag needs to investigate deeply into its Army to remove the weed in the garden to keep its international credibility.