Frankfurt / Main / Berlin (dpa) – After the suspected author of the right-wing extremist threat letter “NSU 2.0” has been arrested, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office wants to respond again on Wednesday (2 pm).
Monday evening a 53-year-old man was arrested in Berlin. The unemployed German has been strongly suspected of having sent a series of threatening letters with inflammatory and insulting content across the country since August 2018. He is stuck.
The letters were signed “NSU 2.0”, referring to the series of murders by the far-right terrorist cell, the National Socialist Underground (NSU). According to investigators, it seems obvious that the man on the phone posed as an employee of the authorities to ask various police stations for non-public personal data for the threatening letters. The questions on the police computers in Frankfurt, Wiesbaden and Berlin put the police under great pressure.
Most of the recipients of the threatening letters were public figures. These include, for example, Frankfurt lawyer Seda Basay-Yildiz, who represented the victims’ families in the Munich trial of the NSU murders, cabaret artist Idil Baydar and current leftist party leader Janine Wissler.
Long-term investigation led to the 53-year-old’s trail. The researchers focused on right-wing populist platforms and forums. They saw a user in the “PI News” forum whose posts were similar in form and style to threat letters. A linguistic analysis by the BKA confirmed the suspicion.
Although the sender of the threatening letters managed to hide his tracks by using foreign servers, according to researchers, a user profile on a chess platform played an important role. There was a profile with the same name on “PI-News”, whose users used the same cartoon character as their profile picture.
Based on the same IP address and verbal insults in the chat on the chess platform, other profiles could be determined based on the information. From the comments, the researchers also inferred a connection with Berlin. Inquiries with the operator of the chess platform and with communication providers eventually led to the identification of the man who has now been arrested.
According to the investigators, the 53-year-old is suspected of threatening a lawyer in Würzburg by telephone before the start of the series “NSU 2.0” in 2017. “The background for the threat is probably the representation of a Syrian refugee by this lawyer”, the researchers reported. His client was attacked after a ‘media-effective selfie’ with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in a refugee home in 2015.
According to previous findings, Interior Minister Beuth sees the Hessian police acquitted. “The threatening letters had very serious suspicion among the police,” he said. “As far as we now know, a Hessian police officer was never responsible for the” NSU 2.0 “menacing mail series.” A spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said the investigation into illegal data searches on Hessian police computers is continuing. A relationship of the man with Hesse is currently unknown.
According to the investigators, the suspect had already attracted attention in the past by numerous crimes – including right-wing motivated -. In 1992 he pretended to be an investigating officer, which is why he was later convicted of presumption of office. He is now being investigated on the basis of, among other things, the suspicion of incitement, the use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations, the threat and the insult.