German intelligence reforming after neo-Nazi scandal
German Chancellor Merkel says domestic intelligence is going through reforms after its failures in preventing neo-Nazi murders between 2000 and 2007

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has gone through reform following a major scandal surrounding a neo-Nazi cell, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

Members of the National Socialist Underground, or NSU, are accused of killing eight small-business owners of Turkish origin, a Greek immigrant as well as a policewoman between 2000 and 2007, apparently without arousing the suspicion of the German intelligence agency, despite the fact that it had recruited various informants with contacts with the neo-Nazi cell.

"The domestic agency had to work on the difficult problems of the past. The Federal Parliament’s NSU investigation committee had revealed the need for change here at the domestic intelligence. These changes have been addressed,” Merkel told journalists during her first visit at the headquarters of the German domestic intelligence agency, or BfV in Cologne.

Merkel did not elaborate on the details of the reform. The Chancellor said she was also briefed on right and left-wing extremists and radical religious groups during the visit.

The German public only learned about the National Socialist Underground and its role in the 10 murders in late 2011, when two members of the organization reportedly died in a murder-suicide following an unsuccessful bank robbery.

A high-profile trial, which started in May 2013, revealed the supposed ties between the group and the German domestic intelligence agency. Any direct relationship has yet to be proven by evidence.

Many questions related to the murders, allegedly committed by members of the neo-Nazi cell, are yet to be resolved, as dozens of secret files of the domestic intelligence have been destroyed in late 2011.

Last Modified: 2014-11-01 11:12:54
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