Frankfurt police officers investigated over ‘forming neo-Nazi cell’
July 15, 2020
Prosecutors are investigating four police officers in Frankfurt on suspicion of organizing a neo-Nazi cell after they allegedly accessed confidential data on a prominent Turkish-German lawyer and used it to threaten to murder her baby.
Five police officers have been suspended from duty as prosecutors continue their probe into allegations that the officers incited racial hatred and shared illegal Nazi imagery.
The investigation was sparked after Seda Basay-Yildiz, a solicitor known for representing victims of neo-Nazi violence, reported a chilling death threat against her two-year-old daughter, the Frankfurter Neue Presse newspaper reports.
Ms Basay-Yildiz received a fax in August in which a group calling themselves “NSU 2.0” threatened to murder her child.
The name refers to the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a trio of neo-Nazis who murdered Turkish immigrants before being caught a decade ago.
The fax named Ms Basay-Yildiz’s daughter and stated their full home address. Ms Basay-Yildiz told the newspaper that she is used to receiving death threats from far-Right extremists and normally ignores them but “this time it went too far.”
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“I couldn’t figure out where the author of the letter got this information from. That’s why I turned to the police,” the lawyer said.
An internal police investigation revealed that Ms Basay-Yildiz’s private information had been accessed from a computer inside the Frankfurt police department.
Further examination led prosecutors to seize hard drives and mobile phones from five officers. Analysis of the devices showed that the officers regularly exchanged images of Hitler and other Nazi imagery via a WhatsApp group.
Although the neo-Nazi scene is mainly a problem in east Germany, Frankfurt and the surrounding state of Hesse has its own far-Right problems.
In late November police in the central German state seized weapons and portraits of Hitler from a restaurant believed to be a key meeting point for local neo-Nazis.