BERLIN (Reuters) – German police on Wednesday seized weapons and explosives during an attack on the home of a special forces soldier, the defense minister and military sources said it was embarrassing for the military trying to fend off allegations that they were accommodating right-wing extremists.
It was unclear whether the soldier intended to use his weapon to carry out the attack. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the military would not tolerate members who “act radically.”
Dresden’s public prosecutor said “a large amount of evidence” was confiscated during the raid on the property of a 45-year-old German man in Nordsachsen near Leipzig in the eastern state of Saxony.
He allegedly violated the German Weapons Control Act.
The Dresden prosecutor said the attack was carried out based on information from military counterintelligence units.
It was not stated whether the soldier had been detained, but Kramp-Karrenbauer said he might no longer wear army uniforms or enter military premises.
Germany is struggling to cope with an increase in right-wing radicalism that has culminated in attacks including a raging shooting in Hanau in February when a racist gunman killed 11 people, including migrants and himself.
This coincides with the efforts of the German army to stamp out extremism in its ranks after the 2017 scandal.
A report by military intelligence in March said Germany had found eight right-wing radicals in the armed forces and 27 individuals who had objections about the post-war democratic constitution.
The radical was discovered after a military intelligence unit investigated 592 people suspected of having broad anti-constitutional views.
The investigation was prompted by the arrest in 2017 of a military officer who was allegedly planning a racially motivated attack. Legal proceedings in that case are ongoing.
Also in 2017, Nazi memorabilia, including Nazi-era Wehrmacht helmets, were found in barracks.
Recalling Nazi Germany’s past, many lawmakers insisted there was “no tolerance” for right-wing extremism and demanded action.
Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Mark Heinrich
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