NSU thought to have had extensive support network | News | DW | 24.03.2013
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NSU thought to have had extensive support network

A neo-Nazi group thought to have committed 10 murders over seven years is reported to have had a support network of more than 100 people. Most of the victims were immigrants who ran small businesses in Germany.

The report said a list of NSU members compiled by Germany's intelligence services included the names of 129 people believed to have been involved in supporting the group in some way. However, the report neglected to say how much higher this figure was than the previous estimate.

The list has been passed along to the parliamentary committee looking into the murders of nine immigrant small businessmen and a police officer between 2000 and 2007.

The chairman of the Bundestag committee, Sebastian Edathy of the opposition Social Democrats, expressed surprise.

"The new figure is alarmingly high. Now we need to quickly determine whether any confidants or informants are among them,” Edathy said.

The informants Edathy referred to help the intelligence services monitor extremist groups by passing along information from within. It's still not clear which informants were active in monitoring the three main suspects in the NSU murders.

As part of its inquiry, the Bundestag committee has now instructed federal and state authorities from Germany's 16 states to check the revised list of alleged NSU supporters to determine which of these were informants.

Of the three main suspects in the NSU murders, only 38-year-old Beate Zschäpe is alive to stand trial beginning on April 17. The two other main suspects, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Bohnhard died, apparently both by suicide, in November 2011 after robbing a bank near the eastern city of Eisenach.

It was only after the two were found dead that police and the intelligence services began to make a link between the series of murders and the neo-Nazi group.

Apart from Zschäpe, four other suspects in the case are also to go on trial next month. Police are also investigating 12 other people suspected of being accomplices.

pfd/mz (AFP, Reuters, dpa)