06:40 GMT24 October 2020
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    The Office of the German Federal Public Prosecutor General has charged 1st Lt. Franco A. with plotting to kill senior politicians and blame the attack on refugees, the prosecutors' office said in a Tuesday statement.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — In April, German law enforcement agencies detained two German officers, including Franco A., on suspicion of preparing terrorist attacks.

    "Motivated by nationalist ideas, he [Franco A.] planned to carry out an attack at an unknown time targeting high-ranking politicians and public figures who stood up for what the defendant regarded as an especially refugee-friendly policy," the prosecutors said.

    Justice Minister Heiko Maas, Claudia Roth, the former vice president of the German parliament, and human rights activist Anetta Kahane were among the targets of the officer, who has prepared weapons for attacks, including by stealing them from the army's depots, the federal prosecutor’s office added.

    The investigation into the activities of Franco A., and his two accomplices, Maximilian T. and Mathias F. has not been completed yet, according to the statement.

    According to investigators, Franco A. has also illegally obtained refugee status in the migration service, introducing himself as a Syrian native, reportedly to implicate refugees in the planned attacks and stir up anti-refugee sentiment.

    There have long been concerns about neo-Nazi infiltration into the ranks of Germany's military. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen in May vowed to reform the military aiming to eliminate the conditions that allow for far-right extremist beliefs to flourish. 

    The proposed reforms included a review of the 1982 "decree on traditions" which allows for the display of Wehrmacht memorabilia within "historical contexts." After revelations that Nazi-era helmets and pictures were sometimes displayed in German army barracks, the Defense Minister said that the current rules "include many good points but allow for back doors." She added that the German military needed to improve its political education and give "a faster and more efficient" way of reporting far-right incidents.


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