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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

German Spy Agency Faces Shake-Up In Neo-Nazi Case

Beate Zschäepe and Uwe Böehnhardt: alleged members of the National Socialist Underground group that evaded German authorities for over a decade

BERLIN (AP) — The case horrified Germany, a nation where the Hitler era still casts a long shadow: a small band of neo-Nazis suspected of killing ethnic Turks and others in a seven-year terror spree, undetected by security forces until a botched bank robbery brought down the group last year.

Now, Germany's domestic spy agency faces awkward questions about a possible cover-up after revelations that an official destroyed files related to the neo-Nazi group. The case prompted the government to announce this week that the agency's head for the past 12 years will take early retirement.

Before he leaves, a parliamentary committee wants to question Heinz Fromm and the official responsible for the files on Thursday about whether the material was destroyed by mistake or deliberately.

The case had already proven deeply embarrassing to the agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, because of the failure to solve the killings of eight Turkish small businessmen and a Greek between 2000 and 2006 and a policewoman in 2007. Read More