Terrorism: Foreign Legionnaire – Baden-Württemberg

Thorsten K. (left) at the display next to Tony E. (right). E. is an accused in terrorist proceedings before the Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart. Photo: Pixelarchiv / Pixelarchiv

Thorsten K. belonged to the narrow circle of suspects of the right-wing terrorist group S. There are many indications that he also provides information to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The likely spy should probably get a weapon for Group S.

A judge from the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court actually just wanted to clarify with the Baden-Württemberg National Criminal Office when a police officer could be called as a witness. However, the officer in passing mentioned in a telephone interview that the investigators assumed that Thorsten K., who lived in Bad Bramstedt in Schleswig-Holstein, was working as a trustee for the German national secret service. Another LKAler then reported to the attorney three days later that the suspicion was “more or less” confirmed.

The information is explosive: from April 2021, judges of the 5th Criminal Senate on Tuesdays and Thursdays during 70 days of negotiations try to shed light on the alleged right-wing terrorist “Group S.”: 13 men who – the Prosecutor General is convinced – have carried out attacks on mosques, and politicians wanted to start a civil war in Germany and thereby overthrow the federal government. Thorsten K., against whom federal prosecutors are investigating in their own proceedings, still appears in the immediate vicinity of this group.

One of the defendants in Stuttgart committed suicide while in custody. Another prisoner was suspended. The third enjoys undisturbed freedom as he offered himself to investigators as an informant in spring 2019 and fed them a bit of truth and a lot of lies until the other suspects were arrested on February 14, 2020.

Foreign Legionnaire with diplomatic status

K., 60, organized demonstrations in northern Germany against former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and to this day ensures that AfD meetings, from the party conference to the ship cruise on the Kiel Canal in Schleswig-Holstein, run smoothly. Supposedly, he was a foreign legionnaire, rose to the rank of major, so he was almost impregnable, had “diplomatic status” – at least for those in the “S Group”. It is not certain whether K. actually served in the French army. What is certain is that he did his military service in the early 1980s and left the Bundeswehr as a corporal. One thing is also certain: he certainly did not get to the position of an officer, let alone a Legion major. – We rarely recruit officers from the ranks of the Legion, and staff officers only in exceptional cases – says the spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense in Paris. K. is not one of them. The minister laughs when he hears about “diplomatic status”.

The stout Northern Germany is close to the “S Group”: on October 3, 2019, he took a picture of himself with several defendants in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The head of the group named after him, Werner S., said “greetings from Major K.” on chat; K. was a member of three virtual, internal discussion groups. Countless phone calls from the accused circulated around him. He was to take part in several group meetings, incl. On February 8, 2020 in Minden, which – according to the preliminary assessment of the judges – could have been the founding meeting of the “Group S”. K., however, did not go to the Weser. Tony E., S. Prosecutor General’s right hand, reportedly asked K. two days before the arrest of “Group S.” if he could get a gun, K. himself reported to the police.

Only a notice of blocking from the Home Office

Uncovering the truth doesn’t get any easier for the judges when an informant appears in the immediate vicinity of “Group S”. The proceedings against the right-wing NSU terrorist group have shown that lawyers must clearly establish whether and what exactly the police or secret service informant said and did. Could he actively contribute to the development of the group in one direction or another. As it can be seen from the numerous investigative photos of NSU parliaments, this determines not only the way in which the judges question witnesses. The particularly talkative and inventive Paul-Ludwig U., who incriminates his co-accused, is already a challenge.

But also the Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg. Chairman Judge Herbert Anders said at the main hearing that the video footage of the group’s meetings was kept under lock and key. Rather by chance, a criminal interviewed as a witness revealed that the meeting in Minden had been transferred “to the Stuttgart Situation Center”. Lawyers absolutely want to see this material – as well as other material that was produced during the observation of “Group S”. Exactly.

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