Alexander Horst M. with threats on. 2003 he calls at the prison Moabit, pretends to be a Mr. "Krebs", insults an employee as a "cowardly pig". And M. threatens: "They will be killed". Allegedly, the little brother of M. hung up in the correctional facility because he had been harassed. But one brother has M. not at all. A Berlin district court sentences M. for threats – and other crimes. Receiving stolen goods and forgery of documents are among them.
Many years later, at least that is how the Frankfurt public prosecutor's office safe, threatened Alexander M. again. This time, his target: female lawyers, who have been fighting for those affected by the right-wing terrorist NSU murder series politicians from the Left Party, who are fighting against the right and have editorial offices such as the "taz" in Berlin.
The threatening letters stand out since the summer of 2018. It's a whole series, more than 130. Of these, M. have sent over 100 alone, others originate from free riders. The letters, excerpts of which our editorial team was able to view, contain racist insults, abuse and also misogynistic agitation.
"NSU 2.0": Concerned move out of fear
Seda Basay-Yildiz, a lawyer, also received a fax in 2018. "This free fax was sent to you by Uwe Bohnhardt," it is headed. And signed with "NSU 2.0". Uwe Bohnhardt, like the convicted Beate Zschape, belonged to the right-wing terrorist group "National Socialist Underground", NSU. The terrorists had murdered ten people between 2000 and 2007.
Again and again, the letters cause fear among those affected, some even have to move out of their homes, to a safe place. Right-wing terror – it has a long history in Germany. So now a new NSU? A new terrorist group? As with Zschape and Bohnhardt, investigators seem to have been in the dark for years, unable to unmask unknown agitator.
Police succeed in arresting "intensive offender" in Berlin
On Monday evening, special police forces arrested the German Alexander M., now 53 years old, detained in his apartment in Berlin, seize his computer and other data carriers such as cell phone. The accused lives alone, has no children. When officers arrest him, he was sitting in front of his computer.
M. is known to the police many times, a kind of "intensive offender". Already in the mid-1990s, a Berlin court sentences him for fraud, further sentences follow. Also because of of right-wing extremist crimes fell M. at. According to information from our editorial office, he was not known to the Berlin security service.
When the lawyer Basay-Yildiz receives the threatening letter in 2018, something explosive catches the eye: the author knows the name of the lawyer's daughter, who is just two years old. And the address of the family, although this is considered blocked in the authorities. A lead of the investigators: Is the perpetrator a policeman?
Initially police officers as the mastermind of NSU 2.0 suspected of
The public prosecutor's office finds out: Basay-Yildiz's registration data was retrieved from a police computer at a precinct in Frankfurt – shortly before the fax from the "NSU 2.0" went out to the lawyer. A policewoman is logged on at the time, the officers search her, evaluate her cell phone – and come across a chat group with right-wing extremist slogans, pictures and statements.
The Scandal spreads, when new threatening e-mails appear – and again data had been retrieved from Hessian police computers. Hesse's police chief must go, government under prere.
But the arrest of Alexander M. in Berlin draw attention to another thesis: Alexander M. could with skill and Research on the Internet get hold of the data of the persons concerned. And not with the help of police officers who share his right-wing views. M. had never worked in any police department.
Suspect allegedly posed as a police officer
Apparently, however, he pretended to be a policeman, for example at the editorial office of the "taz", wanted to know the contact details of a journalist. Similarly, he could also other Authorities called have deceived the staff there and thus got the addresses. The threatening letters contain formulations that are intended to show again and again that the perpetrator is above "Insider knowledge" from the security authorities ordered. So he pretended to be a "clerk", spoke of "comrades" when he wrote about the police, named judicial abbreviations and ranks.
The author was quite cautious in his approach, encrypted his e-mails, Remains anonymous, uses providers of e-mails abroad, such as Russia. Alexander M., Who is now suspected of the crime, was a specialist in electronic data processing – before he lived on unemployment benefits for a long time. He is said to have obtained some of his data, according to research by other media, also on the encrypted Internet – where non-public data is illegally traded on virtual marketplaces.
In the end, it wasn't technology but his conspicuous language, that put the investigators on the trail. Criminologists analyzed the threatening letters, examined the typical formulations, found out patterns. And they discovered that a possible perpetrator made very similar statements, such as extreme right-wing Internet forums.
"NSU 2.0": Despite investigative success, questions remain
It now remains open whether Alexander M. actually with skill and on own initiative the registration data for its threatening letters the authorities to have elicited or these in the Internet investigated. Or he had, nevertheless, confidants? Also with the police?
The Hessian Minister of the Interior Peter Beuth (CDU) sees the police exonerated by the investigations of the public prosecutor's office. "According to everything we know today, was never a Hessian police officer for the "NSU 2.0"-threatening mail series responsible", he said.
Left-wing politician Martina Renner does not want to take the police out of the investigation's sights so quickly and points to the open questions about possible accomplices. In addition, there had been "enough right-wing incidents" in the Hessian police, Renner said. She does not see a reason to celebrate. Renner herself had been affected by the threats of the "NSU 2".0" affected, had received several emails.
Read about it: Right-wing extremism in Germany – The enemies are among us
State Secretary Chebli does not believe in coincidences with "NSU 2.0"
Also for the state secretary in the Berlin state government, Sawsan Chebli, remain in the investigation of the suspect who has now been arrested many questions unanswered. Like many other politicians, Chebli repeatedly received inflammatory letters signed "NSU 2.0".
"It's good that the suspected perpetrator has been caught," Chebli said. Now must be clarified, Whether the crime suspect had aided and abetted – possibly at the Frankfurt police. In view of the temporal connection between the queries of names and addresses and the delivery of the threatening letters, she could not believe in a coincidence.
The ie Sexism and racism has not disappeared from the personal daily life of Sawsan Chebli, who also used to be a spokeswoman for the German Foreign Office, anyway. "I receive every day and on all channels threats, hate and inflammatory messages full of racism and sexism," says Chebli. This is how it had been before the arrest of the crime suspect. Thus it is still.