06:49 GMT24 January 2021
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    German Foreign Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday the need to reform the Bundeswehr, or the German armed forces, amid the ongoing scandal surrounding the revelation of a far-right, anti-refguee plot prepared by a German serviceman.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On April 26, a 28-year-old first lieutenant of the German army, referred in media as Franco A., was detained in the German town of Hammelburg on suspicion of preparing a crime allegedly aimed against refugees. According to media reports, the Bundeswehr had proof of the detainee's far-right views. On Monday, von der Leyen, who canceled her visit to the United States over the scandal, said that the detainee's commanders knew of his far-right views but did not report them due to a misguided sense of comradeship.

    "I am completely clear – and I will report on that at the session of the [defense] committee today – that we need a broad process [of reforms] in the Bundeswehr, which we should pass together — from recruits to generals, from assistants to the minister," von der Leyen said.

    She also said that the German Defense Ministry would improve the democratic education of servicemen, troops’ discipline, command and alert systems.

    Von der Leyen also vowed to carry out a thorough investigation of the plot prepared by Franco A.

    According to media reports, Franco A. applied for asylum as a Syrian refugee in the German town of Giessen in late 2015, and was subsequently granted asylum, shelter and benefits in January 2016. During the registration it was not noticed that the "Syrian refugee" was of German descent and did not speak Arabic but only French. He allegedly planned to commit a serious crime and blame it on refugees.


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