MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The German Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) is currently investigating almost 400 suspected cases of right-wing extremism within the ranks of the Bundeswehr, the country's armed forces, local media reported Friday.
The number of suspected right-wing extremist cases increased from 275 to 391 in the beginning of 2017, the Westfalenpost newspaper reported, citing the response of the German Defense Ministry to the parliamentary inquiry of The Left (Die Linke) party's parliamentary group.
"There can be no pardon for Neo-Nazis and members of the right-wing extremist group Reichsbuerger ['Citizens of the Reich'], they must be thrown out of the army," The Left party spokeswoman Ulla Jelpke said, commenting on the ministry's response.
According to Jelpke, if there is a reasonable suspicion of right-wing extremism, the military should, prior to clarifying the situation, deny access to weapons.
In April and May 2017, German law enforcement officers arrested two officers of the Bundeswehr, suspected of preparing a terrorist act due to their right-wing extremist convictions, and found ammunition stolen from the military unit in the apartment of their accomplice, a student from the city of Offenbach.
One of the arrested, 28-year-old senior lieutenant Franco A., shortly before his arrest acquired a pistol in Austria. During the searches, the investigators found instructions on how to assemble a bomb. According to the investigators, Franco A. had also illegally obtained refugee status in the migration service, introducing himself as a Syrian native. German media suggested that this was done in order to gain access to refugees in order to organize a terrorist attack.
According to government documents, so far in 2017, three suspicions of right-wing extremism have been confirmed. From the beginning of July, MAD has been checking all candidates for enrollment in the armed forces with an Islamist, right-wing or left-wing extremist past. During the first two months, 3,220 inspections were conducted.