The Brown Army Faction: A Disturbing New Dimension of Far-Right Terror - News - International
Germany has been shocked by a series of revelations relating to a trio of neo-Nazis who appear to have carried out a crime wave lasting for over a decade. They are suspected of murdering nine immigrants and a policewoman as well as a series of bank robberies. The evidence points to a new kind of right-wing terrorism unlike anything Germany has seen. By SPIEGEL Staff.
Frühlingsstrasse in the Weissenborn neighborhood of the eastern German city of Zwickau is a street lined with renovated old houses, manicured front gardens and sidewalks that look swept clean. It would be an idyllic residential neighborhood, if it weren’t for the house at number 26.
The windows are smashed, a section of the front wall has collapsed onto the lawn, and there is a gaping black hole on the right side of the second floor. An incendiary bomb exploded at this house a little over a week ago. But the real nature of the bomb that exploded there was not clear until last Friday. As it turned out, the reverberations from the explosion rocked not just the nearby houses on Frühlingsstrasse, but the whole of Germany.
Beate Zschäpe, who was renting an apartment in the building, left the house shortly before flames burst from the windows at 3:05 p.m. on Nov. 4. She dropped off her cats with a neighbor, and then she did what has been doing time and again for almost 14 years: She disappeared.
Three hours earlier, a fire had also been set in a parked camper in Eisenach, a city 180 kilometers (110 miles) away. The two men inside, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, had just robbed a bank. They had ended up in Eisenach after being on the run for 14 years. The two men shot themselves before a police patrol could reach the burning vehicle.
It didn’t take investigators long to see the connection between the two incidents. Then they began digging through the wreckage in Frühlingsstrasse, looking for clues. The deeper they dug, the more astonished and shocked they were by what they uncovered.
At first, it seemed that they had just hit upon a gang of bank robbers that had blown up their hideout.
They dug deeper.
Were the two men and one woman a neo-Nazi trio that had built pipe bombs in the eastern state of Thuringia in the late 1990s and had gone into hiding in the Zwickau area?
The investigators dug even deeper.