Federal Ministry of Defense: enemy in your own ranks?
Photo: Rolf Kremming / imago images
The Ministry of Defense informed the Bundestag politicians on Wednesday morning that a speaker from the Strategy and Deployment Department had attracted attention because of his right-wing extremist attitudes.
Because the Bundeswehr secret service MAD found security-relevant information "with reference to right-wing extremism", the speaker was immediately prohibited from accessing the department's internal systems.
According to SPIEGEL information, the current case is tricky because the speaker on an A15 post had access to security-relevant processes and documents in the ministry.
All Bundeswehr missions abroad are planned and controlled in the SE department.
In addition, all missions of the special forces of the Bundeswehr, the national risk and crisis management and also the military intelligence are controlled in the department.
What exactly the speaker is accused of and how his attitude was noticed is currently still unclear.
According to the briefing, the ban applies to the officer "until a final decision has been made about the existence of a security risk."
Further investigations by the competent authorities continued, according to the defense department.
The investigation is causing great unrest in the ministry.
It is shocking that an alleged right-wing extremist official could possibly sit undetected in such an important department for an extended period of time, it is said.
On the other hand, the official's exposure shows that the control mechanisms in the house are working.
How effective is the "iron broom"?
Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) had announced that after various uncovered cases of right-wing extremist soldiers in the elite association "Special Forces Command" (KSK), a consistent approach against any form of extremism in the Bundeswehr.
To underline her determination, she spoke of an "iron broom".
Apart from the new case, the ministry also reported on two new investigative approaches in the ranks of the KSK.
The Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) is investigating two suspected cases of right-wing extremism in the elite unit dating back several years.
The investigation will be carried out against an officer and a non-commissioned officer.
"Bild am Sonntag" reported on the previously unknown cases at the weekend.
According to the first investigations, a sergeant major should have hung the black-white-red Reich flag next to the federal flag during a parachute training in the USA in 2015 or at least tolerated it.
According to SPIEGEL information, corresponding images have appeared in other investigations in Calw.
In addition, photos of eight other KSK soldiers appeared who were posing in front of the flag at the time.
The identities of the soldiers are now to be determined.
In addition, a lieutenant is accused of distributing right-wing extremist images via WhatsApp in 2014.
According to SPIEGEL information, the KSK soldier had posted the pictures in a chat group in which other soldiers on his platoon also took part.
The lieutenant's mobile phone is now being examined more closely by the MAD.
It is currently being examined whether both cases are criminally relevant.
The defense disciplinary attorneys of the Rapid Forces Division (DSK) have initiated appropriate preliminary investigations.
The new information had been reported to the ministry by other investigations within the elite unit on the train in the first two weeks of September.
In security circles it was said that both soldiers were still on duty.
The MAD had been investigating intensively in Calw with several teams over the past few months, as more than a dozen cases of suspected right-wing extremist soldiers had become known among the commandos.
Initially, the investigators came across a "wall of silence" because hardly any of the KSK soldiers wanted to testify negatively about comrades.
In the meantime, however, some soldiers have confided in the investigators.
Even if the actual deeds were years ago, they are explosive for the KSK.
Most recently, the association, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in the summer only on a small scale because of the many negative reports, tried to achieve normality.
Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer also publicly acknowledged that the association had proven by deploying to secure the Afghanistan withdrawal and then at the airlift from Kabul that the Bundeswehr urgently needed such a special unit.