Right-wing extremism: NRW police clean up – politics

Comment from

Jana Stegemann

The 56,000 employees of the North Rhine-Westphalian police received an email from their boss this week. In it, Herbert Reul (CDU) called for criminally relevant incidents to be reported from colleagues. After the revelation of right-wing WhatsApp chats with the Essen police last week, the interior minister wants to clear up and clear up his authority. Just a few days later it can be said that he got off to a good start.

Because within a short time, the North Rhine-Westphalian police received evidence of 16 further suspected cases from their own ranks. Who gave these clues? Above all the police officers themselves. This shows that the self-healing powers of the state police will work in 2020.

This gives hope that the authority of the most populous federal state will succeed in uncovering and smashing right-wing extremist networks within its own ranks. Because everything is at stake for the police after the Mülheim scandal and the more than a hundred suspected cases. Reul knows that, but the police officers who had the courage to report their colleagues also apparently know that. This is the only way for the police to regain the trust of the population.

© SZ vom 25.09.2020


Rights in the NRW police: 100 officials under suspicion – politics

The right-wing extremism problem in the North Rhine-Westphalian police is apparently much larger than previously known: between January 2017 and September 2020, 100 employees of the state authority were suspected of right-wing extremism or racism. There are also four suspected cases in the Ministry of the Interior. The North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) said on Thursday in the interior committee of the state parliament.

Investigations had been initiated against eight police officers because of possible proximity to the Reich’s citizen ideology; in addition, there are or have been 84 disciplinary proceedings against civil servants for indications of right-wing extremist sentiments. Of the 100 suspected cases, 71 have not yet been concluded. Eight disciplinary and labor law measures were imposed in the 29 proceedings that were ended. In the remaining 21 cases, the allegations were either not confirmed or they were time-barred. The Mülheim case is included in the figures.

“I can only present a snapshot,” said Reul, “we have not reached the end of the flagpole for a long time.” His authority received more and more information – most of them from the police themselves. Which is why Reul praised the authority’s “self-cleaning powers”. “The majority of police officers in North Rhine-Westphalia are on the right side,” said Reul, who also did not want to speak of a “structural problem” in his authority. Nonetheless, the minister appointed a special representative who should quickly create a picture of right-wing extremist tendencies in the NRW police. According to Reul, his most pressing question is: “Why are these attitudes developing among the police?”

Last Wednesday, Reul sent an email to all 56,000 employees of the NRW police – and called on them to report criminally relevant content from their colleagues. Since then, 16 additional suspected cases have been reported to the NRW police within less than a day. An employee of the Cologne police pointed out a closed forum called “net4cops”, in which 770 employees of security authorities were members nationwide. Nine participants were noticed with right-wing extremist statements; five of them come from the NRW police. The forum has now been closed.

31 police officers were temporarily suspended last week

A few hours before Reul spoke in the state parliament, another officer from the Essen police headquarters was also suspended from duty. His case had nothing to do with the right-wing extremist content in the five chat groups, for which 31 police officers were temporarily suspended from duty last week. Most of those involved had worked at least temporarily in the same service group in Mülheim an der Ruhr that belongs to the Essen Police Headquarters.

Reul affirmed on Thursday: “Anyone who does not believe in our constitution has no place in the North Rhine-Westphalian police.”


Consequences of the NRW police scandal: a structural problem?

To this day, the interior ministers have refused to conduct a study on extremism in the police. The NRW affair, however, gives weight to the demand.

Now wants to clarify: North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul Photo: Rolf Vennenberg / dpa

DÜSSELDORF / BERLIN taz | Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) spoke on Thursday in the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament of a “dimension and abomination that I did not think possible”. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) also let his spokesman speak of a “shame”. And BKA President Holger Münch admitted that it was about “incidents that considerably shake confidence in the police”.

The question is: what follows from this?

We are talking about the NRW police scandal. 29 police officers were suspended because they were part of right-wing extremist Whatsapp chat groups, some of which had existed since 2012. Almost all of the victims belonged to the Essen Police Headquarters, a service group in Mülheim was completely released, including the service group leader. On Thursday, Reul spoke of another suspended officer, also from the Mülheim group.

The consequences are now being discussed nationwide. And the affair could get worse. Because so far the investigators only had the phone of one officer who started the investigation. But since Wednesday they have been evaluating 43 phones, 18 SIM cards, 21 USB sticks, 20 hard drives, 9 tablets and 9 PCs. A decorative weapon and small amounts of narcotics were also found.

Do we need nationwide consequences?

Reul has already installed a special representative for right-wing extremist tendencies in the police, the previous Vice-Constitutional Protection Officer Uwe Reichel-Offermann. This should now work out a picture of the situation and prevention recommendations. But is that enough? How could it be that no one in the police reported the chat groups for years? And isn’t there a need for supra-regional measures?

Reul admits that one can no longer speak of individual cases. Seehofer’s spokesman also said: “We’re not talking about individuals.” Right-wing extremist chat groups of Hessian police officers became known as early as the end of 2018 – after threatening faxes to the lawyer Seda Başay-Yıldız. This triggered 38 criminal and disciplinary proceedings. A right-wing prepper network in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had already been exposed beforehand, which created lists of enemies and in which police officers and soldiers took part. In Lahr, Baden-Württemberg, seven police students who exchanged right-wing extremist chats were suspended. And in North Rhine-Westphalia a police employee from Hamm who is said to be part of the right-wing terror group “Group S.” was arrested in March.

The demand for an independent nationwide investigation into right-wing extremist attitudes of police officers has therefore been in the air for some time. Greens, leftists and parts of the SPD are now calling for this again. Sebastian Fiedler, chairman of the Association of German Criminal Investigators, also declared it overdue to “let scientists join our ranks”. Seehofer and other interior ministers, including Reul, have so far blocked such a study, as well as one on racial profiling.

The protection of the constitution is fighting with a picture of the situation

Instead, Seehofer recently referred to a situation report on extremism in the security authorities, which the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is currently working on. After repeated postponements, this should now be ready at the end of September. The creation showed difficulties: Which incidents are even listed? Are suspicious cases already counting or are disciplinary proceedings just completed?

According to ARD The deliveries from the countries were initially so meager that the constitutional protection chief Thomas Haldenwang demanded additional deliveries, including suspected cases. NRW is said to have only submitted 12 cases. A spokeswoman for Reuls said that the current 30 police cases are currently being agreed with the Federal Office.

The criminologist Tobias Singelnstein nevertheless considers an independent scientific study on right-wing extremist attitudes in the police to be “absolutely necessary”. “We finally need reliable figures on how big the problem is. The structural character of the problem has not yet been recognized. ”For Singelnstein, the situation report by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is not sufficient. “The Office for the Protection of the Constitution has not been able to collect the numbers for years and it is not the right institution.”

“Those who remain silent are complicit”

Left and Greens are also calling for independent complaints offices for police incidents. Singelnstein also advocates a new police culture. If no one reported the right-wing extremist chats, there was obviously no clear internal demarcation. “A culture is needed in which the democratic self-image is actually lived.” On Thursday, Reul also confirmed that the police had a “posture problem” in parts: For reasons of comradeship, misconduct is kept silent. But: “Anyone who remains silent is complicit.”

In fact, there were early indications of right-wing ideas in Essen – even if Police President Frank Richter was surprised and stunned on Wednesday. According to the anti-fascist alliance “Essen is standing across”, left-wing rallies have been bullied for months, unlike right-wing marches. In addition, officials had become racially conspicuous. When the alliance named this, there was: a criminal complaint. “The fact that there is a problem within the Essen police authority seems blatant to us,” explained the initiative.


Reul: Police officers should visit Nazi memorials

NAfter the discovery of right-wing extremist chat groups in the North Rhine-Westphalian police, State Interior Minister Herbert Reul wants to encourage the police to visit Nazi memorials as part of training courses. “As a former teacher, I know that such visits bring much more than 100 lessons of civics,” said the CDU politician to the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. Reul expects that it will be “very hard work” to rebuild lost trust in the police. But this is important, “because there must not be the slightest doubt about the rule of law and constitutional loyalty of the police,” said the minister.

Reul was skeptical about demands for a scientific investigation of right-wing extremism among the police. He was not fundamentally against the inclusion of scientific expertise. “But I also don’t want to play the game of those scientists whose business model apparently consists of getting on TV or in the newspaper with ready-made theses that are critical of the police,” he said in explanation. The chairman of the Federal Immigration and Integration Council, Mehmet Kilic, however, joined demands for a nationwide study. This could not be left to individual federal states, said the former Green member of the Bundestag on Deutschlandfunk.

30 police officers in North Rhine-Westphalia are currently being investigated because they are said to have exchanged right-wing extremist propaganda in private WhatsApp chat groups. All accused are said to have connections to the Mülheim an der Ruhr police station. Reul has announced “radical” education and the appointment of a special envoy to develop strategies to combat right-wing extremist tendencies in the police.


Right-wing extremism in the police: Did not know anything about anything

North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul is shocked about Nazi symbols in the police. He himself uses the cliché of the “criminal migrant”.

How could that happen? Herbert Reul is taken by surprise Photo: Marcel Kusch / dpa

In the scandal surrounding right-wing extremist police officers, North Rhine-Westphalia’s CDU interior minister Herbert Reul is currently carrying out his typical crisis management program: swastikas, pictures of Hitler, depictions of a refugee in a gas chamber are chats from at least 29 officers from the police station in Essen Mülheim an der Ruhr found. Reul is promptly shocked, horrified, and does not skimp on strong words: the “most disgusting agitation” is “a shame for the NRW police”, asserts the 68-year-old.

“Yes, you have to stick together, you have to rely on each other in emergencies. But conversely, you all swore an oath to abide by the laws and the constitution. And if a colleague doesn’t do that, you have to report it, that’s also your duty, ”said Reul in a WDR2 interview on Thursday morning, September 17th.

When asked why the five right-wing extremist chat groups had not been noticed earlier in the police station and what explanation he had for this, Reul said: “At the moment, not a real one, if I’m honest.” There are attempts to explain. “I think that too often the police still think they have to cover everything through camaraderie,” said Reul.

As in the scandal about the massive child abuse in Lügde, where 155 DVDs with evidence simply disappeared from the police’s evidence room, the former college teacher promises relentless clarification by special investigators. The man from Leichlingen near Cologne is thus serving his image that has been cultivated for years: Reul wants to appear tough but fair – as Minister of the Interior who defends and enforces laws and which his voters can trust for precisely that reason.

Copyright on the term “clan crime”

This image is important for the entire state government. Because NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet is considered too liberal by many in the CDU, the political professional Reul, as a former member of the state parliament, general secretary of the North Rhine-Westphalian Christian Democrats and European parliamentarian in the business for 35 years, should cover the right flank of his party against the AfD.

In the struggle for the Hambach Forest, which is threatened by lignite excavators, Reul identified among the occupiers as “chaos and those prone to violence from all over Europe”. In autumn 2018, the conservative, who has three grown daughters with his wife Gundula, had the tree houses of the climate protection activists evacuated by thousands of police officers for the lignite group RWE – today his boss Laschet prides himself on having “saved” the Hambach Forest.

Reul shows no consideration in integration policy either. The hardliner has the copyright on the term “clan crime” which he brought into the political debate. He was the first to take open action against “clans” of migrants who questioned the state’s monopoly of violence, and he was promoting the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia – and thus unspokenly strengthened the image of the “criminal foreigner”.

Because Reul irritates again and again with generalized, whole population groups discriminating slogans: “If we look at the Turkish fellow citizens, then we have crime problems with the third generation”, he explained on September 15 on ZDF in the talk show by Markus Lanz – one The day before the scandal surrounding the right-wing extremist officers of the Essen Police Department was discovered.

Others have known for a long time

Reul could have been warned: For years, anti-racist initiatives such as the “Bündnis Essen ist sich quer” (Essq) have been pointing out that parts of the local police clearly sympathize with right-wing vigilante groups like the “Steeler Jungs”. There have been several allegations that Essen police officers used excessive force against migrants. Essq spokesmen criticized as early as March that Reul’s strategy of “1,000 pinpricks”, which is primarily directed against migratory meeting places such as shisha bars, led to “institutional racism” and “racial profiling” not only in Essen.

Essen’s police chief Frank Richter, who did not want to hear anything from the right-wing radical chats of his officers for eight years, responded promptly – with a lawsuit for libel against the initiative. Reul is likely to be just as innocent today: around 1 p.m. he wants to make a statement in the state parliament about the swastikas and Hitler pictures of his police officers. He shouldn’t even mention that he himself strongly supports the cliché of the “criminal migrant”.


Police scandal in NRW: images of Hitler and swastikas

In NRW, 29 police officers are suspended who exchanged information in right-wing extremist chat groups. Interior Minister Reul speaks of a “shame”.

Is appalled by the police affair: North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul Photo: Marcel Kusch / dpa

DÜSSELDORF / BERLIN taz | North Rhine-Westphalia is shaken by a police scandal. Since early Wednesday morning, searches of 29 police officers have been in progress in several cities. You are said to have shared right-wing extremist content in Whatsapp chat groups. Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) spoke of “the worst and most disgusting neo-Nazi, racist and anti-refugee agitation”. The incidents hit the police “to the core”. They are “a shame for the NRW police”.

Mainly affected is the Essen police headquarters. 25 of the 29 officials accused come from there. Most belonged to the subordinate service group in Mülheim an der Ruhr, which was completely suspended. The local service group leader is also accused, as well as another from the SEK Essen, one from the LKA, one from the State Office for Training and two from the State Office for Central Police Services.

A total of 34 police stations and private apartments were searched, in addition to Essen and Mülheim in Duisburg, Oberhausen and Moers. The officials are said to have exchanged right-wing extremist content in five private chat groups. The first of the groups is said to have been founded in 2012, the largest in 2015.

Swastikas and Hitler pictures

Reul spoke of well over 100 criminally relevant images in the chat groups. On display are Adolf Hitler and swastikas or fictional representations of a refugee in a gas chamber or a black person who is shot. The CDU politician spoke of “hideous content”. 11 of the officials are now being investigated for disseminating symbols of unconstitutional organizations and inciting hatred. You should have put the pictures in the groups.

The other 18 officers are said to have only received the pictures. However, disciplinary measures are now also in progress against them on suspicion of violations – because they did not report the content. According to Reul, all 29 police officers are suspended, they had to surrender their uniforms and service weapons and are no longer allowed to enter their service buildings. Efforts are being made to remove 14 officials from service.

“The process leaves me speechless,” said Reul. Right-wing extremists have “no place in the police”. He could no longer speak of individual cases. The majority of the 50,000 police officers in North Rhine-Westphalia are “highly decent people and democrats”.

Only revealed by accident

The investigators only came across the chat groups by chance – after a 32-year-old official was searched at the end of August. The policeman was accused of having disclosed police matters to a journalist. The chat groups were then discovered on his cell phone. Then a separate investigative group began its work, the “SoKo Parable”. And the scandal could expand: until now, the investigators only had access to the 32-year-old’s cell phone. Since Wednesday, however, far more data carriers have been evaluated.

Reul announced that he would deal with the affair “down to the smallest detail”. On Wednesday he ordered the formation of a special inspection for the Essen police headquarters. There it should be checked whether there are further cases and how many officials still knew of the chat groups. In addition, Reul announced a special representative for right-wing extremist tendencies in the state police, who will report directly to him. This should develop a picture of the situation and recommendations for action for prevention. There will also be regional conferences with police leaders.

Police union and politics “shaken”

The Essen police chief Frank Richter, whose house is mainly affected, said that he could not have imagined such a case. There were no abnormalities, only private devices were used for the chats. That none of the officers involved had informed his employer was shocking.

The police union in North Rhine-Westphalia also reacted with “great horror” to the incidents. “Fighting right-wing extremism is part of the police’s DNA,” said Vice President Michael Maatz. “The fact that there are still officials who share right-wing, xenophobic content in chat groups is unbearable.”

The CDU interior expert Christos Katzidis was also “deeply shaken”: “That those who should protect and defend our values ​​have trampled them instead is scandalous.” SPD country chief Sebastian Hartmann called for a “relentless explanation and zero Tolerance against the enemies of our democratic society ”.


Raids in the clan milieu – WELT

opinion Raids in the clan milieu

You have to prevent collateral damage in the fight against clan crime

| Reading time: 3 minutes

To Reimer Stoldt To Reimer Stoldt

WELT author Till-Reimer Stoldt

Source: Catrin Moritz

Raids, situation pictures, special prosecutors – like few others, North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) fights against criminal clans. That is necessary. But now he also has to take action against the resentment he is fueling. They make his course vulnerable.

Whe takes up the fight against criminals, gets his hands dirty. That causes collateral damage. Yes, let’s put it pathetically: He sometimes blames himself – even if he is doing the right thing. This also applies to North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU). With his campaign against clan crime, he has proclaimed an ethnically marked enemy: large criminal families, mostly of Lebanese descent. With this course, Reul inevitably stirs up enemy images. Therefore, the question arises: Can one nevertheless, like Reul last week, prepare pictures of the clan crime situation and carry out media-assisted raids in hookah bars or tea rooms?

To anticipate: Yes, of course you can. This course only needs to be flanked by a strategy to minimize its risks and side effects.

The LKA picture of the situation offered arguments for a continued courageous fight against criminal sections of the clan scene. According to him, the number of crimes and suspects from the clan milieu rose by a third within twelve months. To 3800 suspects and 6100 criminal offenses. Every fifth organized crime offense in North Rhine-Westphalia is committed by clans. And according to Reul, this is not about petty crime, but about robbery, extortion and homicides. This is also emphasized by police presidents with a red party membership and the special prosecutors appointed by the state. They all warn that the clans are trying to establish a kind of extra-territorial rule, to oust and intimidate the police. Given such a description of the situation, there is no alternative to the struggle for law and order. Unless one has silent sympathies for a wolf world.

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But there are also arguments against Reul’s previous course. And the Minister of the Interior delivered it himself. He was “aware of serving xenophobic resentments,” he said. Indeed: the shisha bar has become a synonym for criminal meeting places. It is better not to reveal Lebanese descent everywhere. And anyone who has one of the common clan surnames is beaten – as Reul admitted. He even felt compelled to point out that “many people who have a clan name live without blame or blame”.

But Hanau stands for the worst consequences of anti-immigrant resentment: the place where six months ago nine people with an immigrant background were shot by a racist assassin who stormed two shisha bars. The Green Firat Yaksan put this danger in the words: “Don’t be surprised if guns are pointed at shisha bars, tea rooms and amusement arcades.” Therefore, more consideration should be given to people of Lebanese origin and (because everything is mixed up anyway) to people of Arab origin in general, There is no alternative to their bars and parlors. First, simply out of justice. One cannot accept that an entire section of the population falls into such disrepute. Second, but also so that Reul can continue his fight. He cannot be happy if his approach is accompanied by a permanent debate about unreasonable collateral damage.

But clan crime and Fighting enemy images – how does it work? Quite simply: Since Reul sent out massive negative messages, he should now endeavor to find equally powerful counter-messages. Accompanied by camera teams, he could visit normal tea rooms and talk to guests and operators there. With innocent citizens of Arab origin without a criminal record, with jobs and families. In short: Reul could practice balancing communication. And make the fight against this criminal milieu fit for the future.

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Packshot WAMS 16082020 E-Tag 23.8.2020 half page

Source: Welt am Sonntag


Raid on Tajik terror cell in North Rhine-Westphalia

EIt was still early on Wednesday morning when, on the instructions of the Federal Attorney General (GBA), police forces entered four apartments in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district, in the Heinsberg district and in the Sauerland at the same time, around Azizjon B., Muhammadali G., Farhodshoh K. and Sunatullokh K. arrested. According to the GBA, the men formed a cell of the terrorist organization “Islamic State” (IS) in early 2019 together with Ravsan B., who had been in custody in Wuppertal since March 2019. The five Tajiks, who had come to Germany as refugees in 2012 and in the following years, are said to have planned to carry out attacks on two American air force bases and one person in Germany on behalf of IS who, in their view, had “criticized Islam”, the GBA said in a message.

Attacks were not yet imminent, as the North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) said in a hasty media briefing in the foyer of his office in Düsseldorf in the late morning. Nevertheless, it is a process with “huge dimensions”, the police headquarters in Düsseldorf and the Federal Criminal Police Office are jointly responsible for the investigation. “We had the suspects in mind for a long time, the investigations originated in North Rhine-Westphalia.”