Police in Germany released new photos and video footage reportedly showing former members of the far-left radical terrorist group the Red Army Faction (RAF) conducting a robbery on Monday.
The three accused suspects are Ernst-Volker Staub, Burkhard Garweg and Daniela Klette; all formerly of the terrorist RAF and all three suspected of carrying out multiple robberies in Germany over many years.
The video released by police Monday shows the group robbing a supermarket earlier this year. Last year the trio allegedly robbed an armored vehicle using automatic rifles and an anti-tank weapon. While the RAF officially disbanded in 1998, many of its former members have successfully remained in hiding for decades after the group’s infamous wave of terrorism in the ‘70s and ‘80s that included bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations.
#Norddeutschland: #Fahndung nach ehemaligen #RAF–#Terroristen mit Tatvideos & Video-Podcast! Mindestens neun Raubüberfälle im norddeutschen Raum. Fotos (u.a. unmaskiert) & Details ➡ https://t.co/sUqfNmj4c1 Hinweise an das #LKANI unter ☎ 0511 26262-7400! pic.twitter.com/b7xgAW3H8X
— Polizei NI Fahndung (@PolizeiNI_Fa) November 13, 2017
What initially was known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang in 1970, the wave of violence targeted at “imperialists”, “industrialists”, and American soldiers stationed in Germany became a fixture in German society and pop culture, and had a permanent effect on the German political landscape. Born out of the anti-establishment politics and upheaval sweeping the West in the wake of Vietnam, women’s liberation, and the civil rights movement, left-wing militants began to organize in Germany and in the United States as well.
After harsh reprisals from German police, the original founders were jailed, with some committing suicide while imprisoned. But their legacy lived on with the genesis of the Red Army Faction, which stole the spotlight in 1977 after a hijacked Lufthansa flight and the kidnapping and murder of a West German businessman in what became known as the German Autumn. Germany’s new counter-terrorist unit GSG 9 made its debut when it successfully assaulted the hijacked aircraft, killing three of four terrorists and rescuing every hostage.
But after decades of bombings, kidnappings, and murders, to include the killing of multiple members of the U.S. military, the breakup of East Germany and the Soviet Union dealt a serious blow to RAF and similar left-wing militant groups. The group mostly faded into obscurity, with its militant members going into permanent hiding from the German government. But, if the revolution is to continue, the bills have to get paid. German police suspect the robberies are in an effort to maintain their lifestyles while staying off the grid.
Image courtesy of Polizei Niedersachsen via Twitter