Berlin: Germany has decided to set up a National Terror Defence Centre to combat neo-Nazi terror after a group of right-wing extremists allegedly murdered nine immigrants and a policewoman besides carrying out a series of bomb attacks and bank robberies for more than a decade. (Agencies)
A high-level conference of federal and state interior ministers, intelligence service officials and security experts in Berlin on Friday decided to set up a the new centre to coordinate the efforts of the domestic intelligence service and the police to deal with right-wing extremism.
A national database of such extremists, similar to the one already in place for Islamic terror suspects, will also be put in place to monitor the activities of neo-Nazis, who posed a danger to the society.
The conference also decided to set up a working group to examine the legal requirements for banning the right extremist party NPD.
A previous attempt to ban the party was rejected by the Federal Constitutional Court in 2003 on the grounds that the state had too many "informers" in the party.
The federal and state governments are determined to combat the structures of right-wing extremism in whatever form it exists, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Frierdrich told journalists after the conference.
It was convened in the wake of criticisms that members of a neo-Nazi cell in the eastern German state of Thuringia carried out a string of racially-motivated murders and bomb attacks and went undetected because of lack of communication between the federal and state intelligence services, the prosecutor's office and the local police. There have been also allegations that the security agencies underestimated the danger posed by right-wing extremists.
Friedrich admitted that there were "deficiencies" on the part of the intelligence and security services, but promised to thoroughly investigate the alleged murders and other atrocities committed by the group.
The existence of the neo-Nazi cell National Socialist Underground (NSU) came to light after two members Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boehnhardt reportedly committed suicide in their Caravan in Eisenach on November 4 after a robbery as police encircled them.
Their woman accomplice Beate Zschaepe set on fire their house in Zwickau shortly afterwards and surrendered to the police a few days later.
In a DVD found by police in their house, they claimed responsibility for the killings of nine migrants - eight from Turkey and one from Greece- between 2000 and 2006 and for the killing of a policewoman in Heilbronn in 2007.
The neo-Nazi cell is also suspected of carrying out a bomb attack in Cologne in which 23 people were injured.
Beate Zschaepe and another terror suspect identified by police as Holger G are currently being investigated by the federal prosecutor's office.
In addition, two other suspects also are under investigation for their links to the neo-Nazi cell, the new federal prosecutor Harald Range said.
Investigations so far showed no evidence to prove that the neo-Nazi cell received any support from the intelligence or security services, he said.
But, investigators believe they had a very extensive network, which enabled them to operate across the country.
Media reports said earlier that a former official of the state intelligence service in Hessen was present at a Turkish internet cafe in Kassel when its owner Halit Yozgut was allegedly shot and killed by the neo-Nazi group on April 6,
Intelligence services were aware that he had a right extremist background and during a search of his house in 2006, police found Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and other Nazi memorabilia, the reports said.
Berlin: Germany has decided to set up a National Terror Defence Centre to combat neo-Nazi terror after a group of right-wing extremists allegedly murdered nine immigrants and a policewoman besides carrying out a series of bomb attacks and bank robberies for more than a decade.