The German government will set up a neo-Nazi database to share information on anti-immigration groups after a nationwide dragnet yielded more suspects tied to a violent underground cell.
The database will bring together intelligence from federal and state agencies as authorities try to uncover how a group calling itself the National Socialist Underground could have carried out murders, attacks and bank robberies for over a decade undetected. Germany already has such a centralized data bank for Islamist threats.
“There are a number of further suspects that we’re looking at,” Federal Prosecutor Harald Range told reporters today in Berlin. Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said the government would also examine whether to pursue a second attempt to ban the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party.
German authorities are struggling to explain the failure to uncover a three-person cell accused of killing nine men of Turkish or Greek origin as well as a policewoman between 2000 and 2007. The NSU is also suspected of carrying out a bomb attack and a series of bank robberies.
The crimes came to light this month when the bodies of two of the members were found, leading to a trove of evidence that laid bare connections with Germany’s neo-Nazi scene and possible knowledge of government agents.