“We are in the final battle”: Investigations against radical soldiers



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Status: 12.01.2022 6:00 a.m.

Investigations are currently underway against at least two other Bundeswehr soldiers because they made radical statements against corona measures. Research by BR and tagesschau.de result.

By Sammy Khamis, Arne Meyer-Fünffinger, Manuel Mehlhorn, BR and Carla Reveland, tagesschau.de

One should pay close attention to the choice of words, according to a mountain hunter in a more than seven-minute voice message published on the Telegram messenger platform in December last year. The Bundeswehr is a “company” in which everything is done to “destroy us patriots who are trapped in the Bundeswehr”. What is meant is the obligation to enforce corona vaccinations for soldiers.

The soldier, who states that his military rank is Sergeant Major, believes he is in “war”, speaks of the fact that one is “in the final battle” and calls on all other soldiers: “Under no circumstances let the injection!” In addition, he does not consider the Federal Republic of Germany to be a sovereign state and says: “The Zionists are still pulling the strings from the background.”

The Federal Government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, considers it “extremely alarming” when soldiers express themselves in this way. They had sworn an oath on the constitution, so Klein, and should protect the Basic Law, not fight it.

Two opponents of measures in a battalion of mountain troops?

The soldier’s identity was confirmed by investigators entrusted with the case. According to information from BR and tagesschau.de the sergeant major is deployed in battalion 231, the same unit in which the 29-year-old sergeant major Andreas O. also served. At the end of December 2021, O. publicly set a kind of ultimatum at a rally against the government’s corona protective measures and threatened “high traitors and cowards of the Basic Law”: “Your corpses will be scattered in the fields.”

Another case at the Erndtebrück air force base

In addition to the two cases in Bavaria, there is another soldier who is being investigated. According to information from BR and tagesschau.de stationed at the Erndtebrück air force base in North Rhine-Westphalia. In February 2021, in a Telegram group from the “lateral thinkers” spectrum, he wrote that he was a supporter of the “QAnon” conspiracy ideology. At the time, he was posted to the county health department to trace contacts. The Westfalenpost reported on the case.

At the time, the soldier announced on Telegram that he would be delivering exclusive information: “So folks, since I am in the Bundeswehr and from today on I am assigned to administrative assistance, I can report first hand directly from today.” According to the soldier’s own accounts, his statements have already attracted attention several times in the barracks. A sergeant major made him an aluminum hat. A staff officer asked him if he wasn’t afraid of being reported. However, very few of the troops shared his views, the majority believe in Corona and want to be vaccinated. “I think I do my part if you screw up your health,” writes the soldier. He is “not impressed by such stupid chatter”.

In contrast to the case of the mountain troops, the soldiers’ statements in North Rhine-Westphalia are often allusions. However, they are specific enough for the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) to investigate him. The MAD, responsible for combating extremism within the Bundeswehr, confirmed the case on request. The widespread statements are known, there is an investigation against the soldier.

Mobilization of soldiers on Telegram

There are several groups on Telegram whose names suggest that soldiers and reservists network there. Some deny the corona pandemic, many vehemently reject the associated hygiene measures. The groups range from a few hundreds to several thousand members, the largest group having 3,300 members.

Joseph Holnburger, political scientist at the “Center for Monitoring, Analysis and Strategy” (CeMAS), however, assumes “that only a small part of the group members are actually soldiers or reservists.” There are groups in which specific violent fantasies are expressed or even planned. Threats shouldn’t be dismissed as harmless, says Holnburger. “Especially against the background that soldiers also have access to weapons.”

Extremely active with Telegram

Sergeant O., who issued the ultimatum and threatened other soldiers, is also active in these groups. Under changing pseudonyms, the 29-year-old wrote more than 2000 messages between March and December 2021 and was a member of 44 chat groups, according to an evaluation by CeMAS. In one of his first messages, Sergeant Andreas O wrote: “The resistance is growing. We are not the only ones waiting for the marching orders”. The Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office is now investigating Andreas O.

The second mountain trooper from Bavaria, who openly expressed himself anti-Semitic in a voice message, is being investigated internally because of “suspected violations of current orders,” according to a spokesman for the German Armed Forces. The facts should also be “handed over to the public prosecutor’s office in Traunstein / Laufen for prosecution this week”. The two mountain hunters from Bavaria did not comment on request.

“No margin”

The defense policy spokesman for the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Florian Hahn (CSU), demands harsh consequences for radicalized soldiers: “Regardless of the form in which these ideas appear, whether through arguments from the Reich Citizens or as lateral thinkers: They all pursue the goal of a democratic constitutional state Overcome. These people are no longer moving within the framework of the Basic Law and are not allowed to remain in the Bundeswehr. ”

In an internal letter from the Federal Ministry of Defense, the Ministry reports that it has requested the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) to investigate “emphatically” against people such as Sergeant Andreas O. The focus is on “connections and networking with other people and issues inside and outside the Bundeswehr”. In individual cases, according to the ministry, and especially in connection with extremist attitudes, this could lead to exclusion from the force.


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