BERLIN (AP) – The head of Germany’s military intelligence agency was replaced as authorities stepped up efforts to root out far-right extremists in the military, the defense ministry said Thursday.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer decided “with his consent” that Christof Gramm would be replaced next month as head of the MAD agency, the ministry statement said. He added that a decision on his successor would be made soon.
Gramm has led MAD since January 2015. The defense ministry praised him for initiating reforms and increasing the agency’s work, but said he and Kramp-Karrenbauer agreed that the next phase of modernization required new momentum that “must also be made visible in personnel terms. “
German officials have expressed concern over the recent discoveries of some far-right extremists in the military. Earlier this year, Kramp-Karrenbauer disbanded a special forces company, saying a culture of right-wing extremism had been allowed to flourish behind a “wall of secrecy”.
The German government has approved a bill that would speed up the dismissal of soldiers involved in extremism or serious crimes.
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