Germany unearths right-wing radicals in military after scandal

Revelation comes as Germany launches a crackdown on far-right extremism

FILE PHOTO: People attend a funeral service for one of the victims after shisha bar shootings in Hanau, Germany, February 24, 2020.     REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo
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Germany has discovered eight right-wing radicals in its armed forces and 27 individuals who have reservations about the constitution, a report to root out extremism in the military has revealed.

The report, by German military intelligence, showed that in addition to the eight people categorised as "right-wing extremists", a further two were members of a network that claims allegiance to the pre-war German Reich.

The investigations were prompted by the arrest in 2017 of an army officer who was suspected of planning a racially motivated attack.

Germany has recently launched a crackdown on far-right extremism following a shooting rampage in Hanau two weeks ago when a racist gunman killed 11 people, including migrants and himself.

On Tuesday 12 people suspected of having formed a far-right group that wanted to attack immigrants and foreigners had their homes raided by the police.

The report, which has been submitted to the German parliament, read: "There is no place for extremism in the armed forces.

"(The report) represents an important pillar in guaranteeing a transparent and unified picture of the situation."

The right-wing radicals were discovered after a military intelligence unit investigated 592 individuals suspected of holding broadly anti-constitutional views.

By comparison, the report showed four confirmed Islamic extremists and no established left wing militants in the armed forces, which has a total of 265,000 uniformed and civilian employees.

In 2017, Nazi memorabilia, including Nazi-era Wehrmacht helmets, was found at a barracks.

"This overview is long overdue and can only be the beginning," said Greens politician Agnieszka Brugger in a statement.

"Swift and decisive action must follow on from these findings, the people who have been found must leave the armed forces as soon as possible," she added.

The study is expected to continue monitoring suspected cases and is due to regularly inform parliament and the public.