• Are far-right extremists military and police officers involved in a conspiracy against the government?

    In the German village of Banzkow, in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, special federal police units searched several homes in 2017. In one house, officers found more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition and several weapons. The home belonged to Marko G., a former member of an elite state police unit. He was charged with many weapons violations and went on a trial in late 2019. Marko G. told the court that he was simply preparing for a possible catastrophe.

    He and several associates had formed a group called Nordkreuz. The investigation showed that the group had also stocked up on supplies of quicklime and bodybags. A state police report concluded that Marko G. represented a potential threat to the State. The court determined that he had rejected the constitutional principles of the German State, so he was convicted and sentenced to 21 months’ probation. Several of his friends were in court to hear the decision. Among them was Jörg S., who received an important e-mail from Marko in 2016. The message said that over the last 16 months, a network of right-wingers had been established across Europe and that nearly 2,000 potential members had been contacted.

    So the questions arise: is there any kind of conspiracy involving members of the police or the military to support far-right extremist movements?

    The far-right extremist movement grows in Germany

    Volker L., a weapons dealer who allegedly has ties to an elite Bundeswehr unit, the KSK. He is a former soldier. He says he met the conspirators in 2015 when a member of the KSK invited him to a meeting of like-minded individuals. The group is said to have included soldiers and police officers. Volker says that a meeting someone suggested that on day X, the coup participants should take over the Cawl barracks to seize the weapons stored there. Evidence got by the German tv channel DW showed that Volker had been involved in organizing training exercises for members of the group since 2014. Some of his activities included preparations for sabotaging bridges and the design of identification badges for certain group leaders. The badges featured a skull and crossbones and a logo that stood for Day X.

    By 2015, the group had spread all across Germany, the group’s organizational efforts were well underway. It’s alleged that some members of the elite military and police units were active in the organization and may have been preparing for Day X operations. At this point, it is important to wonder if they were isolated cases or if they were part of a bigger picture the German government is neglecting to prepare for.

    Some say that the KSK military units represent a real problem due to their right-wing activity and that this dates back to the founding of the organization in 1996. The threat became stronger when General Reinhard Günzel was appointed KSK commander in 2000, later that year he was accused of making inappropriate public remarks and he was removed from his military position.

    How well prepared was the coup for the so-called “Day X”?

    According to the investigations of the TV channel, André S. and Marko G. were actively planning a coup attempt. They found a Day X mobilization plan that was allegedly drafted in 2016 that includes maps that show where the conspirators were to gather when they got the go-ahead from their commanders at a military training ground in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The military group KSK has carried out legitimate exercises at this same place. The Day X headquarters was said to be located in a small building in the area. The plan included code-words and radio frequencies. Group members were to identify themselves by rolling up their left shirt-sleeve. Personal will assemble at South Alpha Grey. This area will serve as a transfer point for the secret operations center. The site was said to have been chosen by Volker L. Some of the building there are used as artillery practice targets

    The operation also called for taking over a vehicle storage site. Experts speculate on what the conspirators might have had in mind because transportation would play a big role in these sort of situations, especially in a Nordkreuz operation: they would have to move their troops around and may have also planned to “arrest” potential opponents and, to do that, you need vehicles; according to the analysis of Martina Renner, Bundestag Member at Internal Affairs Committee. Among the prisoners, there should be leftists, FDP politicians, and refugee-aid workers who were then to be executed.

    Dirk Friedriszik, a Bundeswehr veteran and Social Democrat member of the state parliament, has been warning for years that Nordkreuz extremists have infiltrated local military reserve units. He feels frustrated that Marko G.’s close contact such as Jörg S. is not facing charges at this time. In 2016, Marko and Jörg exchanges a series of emails that indicates that it was Jörg S. who set up the meeting point in Warin, located near a military training area. Deeper research of this congressman has established the outline of an entire network of such points. Jörg S. is also a sergeant in the Bundeswehr reserve. Many of the other conspirators are also alleged to be reservists. Jörg served for some time at the air force base at Rostock-Laage, where a Eurofighter squadron is stationed. When the squadron commander left his job in 2019, he invited Jörg S. to his official farewell celebration, even though Jörg was already known to federal authorities as a suspected right-wing extremist. Which is the most suspicious aspect, in this case, is that Rostock-Laage is a high-security military base and home to some of the Bundeswehr’s most sophisticated weapons systems. Armin P., another Marko G.’s supporters at his trial, trains Eurofighter pilots at the Rostock airbase. It remains unclear how those suspected of supporting a right-wing anti-government movement managed to gain access to high-security military sites.

    Konstantin von Notz, member of the Bundestag oversight panel that’s responsible for Germany’s intelligence agencies has been reported to declare: “The possibility of a coup attempt, even during the pandemic, may seem unlikely but we (the government) still have to take it seriously and react accordingly”.

    Manipulating the public’s opinion about the refugees

    Many of the alleged isolated cases in the police and the military are connected. For example, Volker L., the weapons dealer, confirmed that the group led by Andre S. had contact with a Bundeswehr officer called Franco A. In 2017, Franco was arrested after he tried to pass himself off as a Syrian refugee and had illegally acquired a gun. He was charged with various crimes involving terrorism. In its decision on Franco’s case, the German Supreme Court cited some extremist statements that he had made such as: “People do not accept ‘the greatest truth’ if it is not connected with a triggering event. You should destroy the entire system to make the people listen“.

    In early 2017, Franco A. was in Vienna. At the airport, he hid a weapon in a public toilet and then posted the location to his WhatsApp group. That group also included other soldiers. He was arrested when he tried to retrieve the gun. That evening, an annual ball sponsored by Austria’s right-wing FPÖ party (Freedom Party of Austria) was to be held. The event often draws lots of demonstrators. Investigators believe that Franco intended to carry out an attack there. He believed that since he was registered as a refugee, many would blame the crime on the immigrant community. Franco A. is accused of preparing an attack that would then be attributed to Islamists or leftists or whomever and the Nordkreuz group was considering similar measures. They figured that a provocation might be the best way to get things moving.

    The government fails… in purpose?

    Incidents like this have prompted speculation about what Marko G. intended to do with the stockpile of weapons and ammunition that he had kept at his house and where he got all that ammo. The Schwerin prosecutor’s office has determined that much of the ammunition came from Bundeswehr and police warehouses. It is quite easy to determine the origins of this kind of ammo if you know what to look for, which is what Lars Winkelsdorf did. This weapons expert explains that these were military-grade rounds that have a very high penetration capability and are quite effective against a wide variety of targets. It is not at all something that could be claimed as self-defense, because these rounds can penetrate body armor so it is possible to assume that they might be used against police officers and security forces. To help in the investigation and find out where this ammunition came from, the specialist had to look for the specific lot number on the package. Even with containers of five hundred or a thousand rounds, there are individual packages where the lot number is always stamped on the bottom of each round. In this case, the cartridges are shipped to the police department, which then hands them out to individual officers and the department should keep a record to quickly determine when the ammunition came in and when it went out. Anyway, prosecutors declare they are still trying to figure out how the police could lose track of so much ammo.

    Nevertheless, it seems that the press is still more effective than the government. DW’s investigations team found that the rounds had originally been supplied to Bundeswehr and elite police units all over Germany. For example, 12 hundred cartridges were traced back to the state of North Rhein-Westphalia. These investigators found out that special police units from Düsseldorf, Cologne, and Dortmund often train in the wide-open spaces of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Now, it shows that the possibility of one of the officers of these cities had contact with Marko G’s group is real. The authorities in Duisburg, who distribute ammunition to individual departments, are reported to have admitted that the rounds had indeed come from the state’s police stockpiles. As a consequence, North Rhein-Westphalia has now revised its ammunition distribution system, but it’s still not clear who was responsible for handing over the rounds to unauthorized individuals. the officials say they can’t comment on an on-going criminal investigation.

    One hundred other cartridges that later turned up in Marko G.’s stockpile were determined to have come from an elite police unit in Bavaria, the USK. Several USK members were recently investigated for allegedly sharing objectionable content on chat apps. Officials determined that some of that content might have been anti-Semitic. Bavaria’s state premier, Markus Söder seems to have little interest in pursuing this potentially explosive matter even though it seems that there are obvious connections between the Nordkreuz group and Bavaria. If weapons or ammunition from federal or Bavarian sources are ending being part of a far-right extremist network, the acknowledge of this situation makes them accountable for what might happen. It remains clear, nevertheless, that the German government should protect itself against such threats

    Bavaria’s state Criminal Police Office has just recently admitted that prosecutors are investigating the situation. The discovery of the ammunition that had been stored in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has turned to a national scandal for the police and the Bundeswehr. But most of the investigative work was left to prosecutors in Schwerin. A private shooting range near Güstrow in Mecklenburg provided even more clues. For years, instructors from several police and Bundeswehr’s units attended shooting competitions there, including some of the units from which Marko G. got his ammunition. The events were authorized by Mecklenburg’s interior ministry and organized by a civilian who turned them into a kind of weapons trade fair. State interior minister Lorenz Caffier was the competition’s patron and often attended the events himself. Evidence presented at the Schwerin trial indicated that the range’s owner, Frank T., passed along Nordkreuz instructions to Marko: “The better we can communicate, the easier it will be for us to meet on Day X, but until then, we have to keep a low profile”. State interior minister Caffier also met often with Frank T. at the shooting competitions.

    The ministry has set up a commission to investigate all this scandal.

    It’s not yet clear how much progress they’ve made

  • PRO-KÖLN (NRW) Anti-Islamic Political Party.

    The Pro-Köln Political Party (Pro Rhine North-Westphalia Citizen Movement, in German, Bürgerbewegung Pro-NRW.), was known as an extreme-right minority party, according to the criteria of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

    Starting from its genesis, in the popular opinion of Germany, it’s considered as a hostile movement to the country’s Constitution. It’s postulated that this political party has had as its main objective to win the citizen vote by fighting against European Islamization and manage to articulate an ultra-right political discourse to crystallize the construction of the Cologne Mosque.


    German Extreme-Right

    The extreme right is a term used to describe political parties that promote nationalist and ultra-conservative positions considered extremely extreme. Generally, these positions are linked to undemocratic practices.

    In Germany, some of the extreme-right political parties are renowned for using a strategic resource similar to that used by Nazism. Like these, they support his discourse through the demonization of the Jews.

    Currently, there are ultra-right-wing active political parties in Germany such as Alternative for Germany (AID) and National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).

    Along with this, certain parties currently take advantage of the use of Islamophobia to obtain political returns. Through this speech, parties like Pro-Köln (Pro-NRW) increased their presence in institutions.

    The party’s line of action is to instill fear among the population, spreading the message of an Islamization of Europe. An argument that is based on the use of prejudices such as terrorism, and generalizations such that all Muslims are terrorists, which create a negative stereotype of the Muslim community, regardless of where they come from.

    In this way, aversion towards this community is fostered, racism is increased, and the non-integration of Muslims in democratic European societies.

    PRO-KÖLN (NRW) Origins.

    The Pro-NRW organization had its beginnings in 1996. Under the tutelage of its founders, Markus Beisicht, Manfred Rouhs, and Bernard Schoppe.

    But it wasn’t until 2000 when this formation appeared before its first elections to the Cologne City Council. His first projects were primarily aimed at fighting the state methadone grant for drug addicts, and a campaign against prostitution.

    However, but it wasn’t until the beginnings of the Cologne mosque construction project when Pro-Köln establishes its main field of action. On September 19, 2008, it was intended to start in Nort-Westphalia the anti-Islamization Congress promoted by this party.

    But these congregations, as well as the called protests, were suspended by the state police. These argued that the convenors didn’t cooperate sufficiently in favor of preserving security and tranquility in these acts.

    On many occasions in the mass meetings, party supporters entered into verbal and physical conflict with Salafist groups and the police.

    On the other hand, the members of this organization, to promote the ideas of the party, frequently tried to approach the young students with propaganda leaflets.

    But even so, various agencies in Rhine North-Westphalia and the Federal Republic of Germany suspected that the party was a political precursor of extreme-right terrorism in the country, and investigations, raids, and surveillance against members of the party were carried out.

    Because of that, the party had been under suspicion for years of going against the German Constitution, waiting for a verdict on its constitutionality. In addition to carrying the weight of a pending sentence for its political position accused of being an ultra-right party.

    Awaiting the decision of the verdict by the courts, public opinion debated whether acts such as the anti-Islamization congress and the Pro-Köln protests were constitutional or not and whether they protected the right to freedom of expression.

    Cologne Mosque Project in Germany

    Once this project became part of public opinion, a great debate began to arise about whether the mosque should be built or not, and the consequences or advantages that would entail.

    Strong criticism soon arose, in addition to calls to reject the project among the community of Colonia. This wave of opinions even managed to divide some parties like CDU that could not reach an internal consensus.

    Mainly, the CDU’s position was not to be in favor of building mosques in Germany. However, the Mayor of Cologne, Schramma, was in favor of carrying out the project.

    The presentation of the project was used by Pro-Köln to make itself known to the community and obtain greater dissemination of its ideals. As well as the beginning of strategies such as collecting signatures against the realization of the project.

    This party considered these strategies to be a success, catalyst for the good results in the 2004 elections. Pro-Köln managed to establish four representatives in the Cologne City Council, who later joined a fugitive from the CDU party.

    In this way, from 2007 the formation of the candidacy for the Nordrhein-Westfalen State elections begins under the name of Pro-NRW.

    Despite Pro-Köln’s opposition, the mosque project was discussed and modified. Finally, an agreement was reached that the dome would be 37 meters and the minarets 55 meters high. Besides, it is established that the call to prayer would not be audible outside the compound.

    In 2008 this project was approved, in a plenary session of the Cologne City Council. Which had the votes against CDU and Pro NRW, and the votes in favor of the SPD, FDP, Liked, and the Greens, in addition to the vote of Mayor Schramma.

    Pro-Köln also stated that the construction of the mosque would be detrimental to the country because it would damage the Rhenish image of Cologne, as well as because it would be a focus of attention for radical Islamists, who would go against German constitutional values.

    Also, reference was made to the lack of debate surrounding the approval of such a project, which considered the lack of plurality and curtailment of freedom of expression.

    Structure of the Pro-Köln program.

    The globalization of all the party’s political strategies consists of five key points:

    The entire program of this party is tainted by the will to stop immigration. Since it considers that immigration brings with it problems of crime, loss of identity, economic loss, shortage of resources and public services, as well as the loss of employment of the indigenous population.

    Besides, it takes into account security issues and greater control of the streets, such as liberalizing business hours.

    On the other hand, authors and writers like Ralph Giordano, who is very critical of Muslims, based on the idea that for them Islam is contrary to democratic values ​​and the defense of human rights, stand out from the positions of this game.

    According to Giordano, this party intends to rely on criticism of Islam to spread racist and right-wing populism positions. Also, he affirms that they are two different things, being critical of Islam and being linked to Eurofascism.


    Dissolution of Pro-Köln.

    The party participated in the Rhine North-Westphalia State Elections in 2010, obtaining 1.4% of votes and in the Rhine North-Westphalia State Elections of 2012 obtaining 1.5%, therefore it did not have representation in Parliament. Regional.

    Finally, in the 2014 European Parliament Elections, it obtained 0.2%.

    In this way, the party was dissolved on March 24, 2019, becoming a political association.

    It can be inferred that Pro-Köln’s position was centered on a political conception with characteristics of the extreme right, some authors even go so far as to call Eurofascist. Just as his electoral program hid behind the facade of a popular movement against the Islamization of Germany.

    It pursued not only to face an alleged Islamist invasion, but it also sought tight control of any type of immigration, greater control of asylum permits, tight police control of the streets, curbing any type of distribution of drugs to drug addicts, and economic liberalization.