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Germany

Bomb tips prompt investigation of far-right state leader

The far-right NPD party has been the subject of immense controversy, with many advocating its ban. State authorities in an eastern German state are now investigating a high-up leader for posting bomb tips online.

Matthias Heyder

Heyder is the NPD's main candidate in state elections

Police in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt have opened an investigation into the top state candidate for the far-right NPD party on suspicion of discussing attacks on public places and bomb-building techniques on an Internet forum.

According to reports from tagesschau.de, the website of a public television news program, someone under the name "Junker Jörg" posted the following to an online forum under the title "Weapons": "Twenty suitcases, 20 men, 20 train stations. Germany paralyzed. Everything legal. Costs under 1,000 euros. Where is the problem?"

What followed were seven-step instructions on how to manufacture explosive materials.

The forum was registered to the leader of the Saxony-Anhalt parliamentary NPD leader Holger Apfel. "Junker Jörg" made hundreds of posts on the forum, some of which date back to 2004.

Links to far-right leader

Holger Hövelmann

Hövelmann said if the accusations are true, that puts a different spin on things

The report names state NPD leader Matthias Heyder as "clearly" behind the posts, since some deal with detailed NPD election strategies and discuss photos in which Heyder appears and which were used in campaign brochures. Other posts present flyers which were saved on a server belonging to Heyder.

Saxony-Anhalt's interior minister, Holger Hövelmann, confirmed that police and public prosecutors were investigating the accusations against Heyder. He said there was no doubt that Heyder was behind the pseudonym, and that possible charges could include incitement to commit and crime and the endangerment of public safety.

"If it proves to be true that the top NPD candidate is behind these posts, that puts a whole new spin on things," Hövelmann said. "We've always known that the NPD thinks nothing of a democratic constitutional state and its laws. But with simulations of bomb-building, the lines of legality are crossed."

Legal relevancy

Legal experts said the posts on how to create explosive materials could be incriminating, specifically because they describe how various substances in the bomb-building process must be measured.

Upon being contacted by tagesschau.de, Heyder denied that he had ever posted on the forum and threatened legal action for "data theft."

The website said it obtained all its information through a regular membership in the forum, and that the forum was taken offline hours after Heyder was contacted.

Upcoming elections

Saxony-Anhalt holds elections to its state parliament on March 20. A poll this month by public broadcaster ARD showed that the NPD had the support of about five percent of likely voters.

NPD demonstration

The NPD hopes to make the cut in Saxony-Anhalt elections on March 20

Germany has a five-percent margin for any party to enter parliament. If the NPD reaches that margin, Saxony-Anhalt's parliament would become the third in eastern Germany to have a far-right party.

The NPD, or National Democratic Party of Germany, is described by Germany's domestic intelligence agency as racist and anti-Semitic. It openly rejects the German constitution as an unfair imposition by the Western allies after World War II.

While many German voters view the NPD with suspicion, it has had some success on the state level in presenting a more moderate image focused on employment and anti-immigration issues. Some national- and state-level politicians have advocated a party ban, but all legal attempts to do so have failed.

Author: Andrew Bowen
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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