Far-left RAF terror suspect Daniela Klette arrested – DW – 02/27/2024


A German prosecutor’s office on Tuesday said Daniela Klette, one of three fugitive members of the far-left Red Army Faction (RAF) terror group, had been arrested.

German police had still been searching for the trio, suspected of attempted murder and a series of armed robberies, after decades on the run.

What do we know so far?

The public prosecutor’s office in the town of Verden in Lower Saxony said the 65-year-old was caught in Berlin on Monday.

“We have an arrest of Ms. Klette,” said Koray Freudenberg, senior public prosecutor, whose office is investigating Klette and fellow suspects Ernst-Volker Staub and Burkhard Garweg.

The Lower Saxony State Criminal Police Office later said a man had also been arrested in connection with Klette’s capture, but that he had yet to be identified. 

Hanover police chief Friedo de Vries said the suspect had been identified via fingerprints and showed no resistance as she was detained at an apartment in the city’s Kreuzberg district. De Fries said police found two pistol magazines as well as cartridges at the apartment.

Germany’s mass-circulation Bild newspaper said Klette had been in hiding in Berlin for 20 years, where neighbors said she went by the name of Claudia.

Klette, Staub, and Garweg are said to have tried to use a series of robberies between 1999 and 2016 to finance their lives underground. 

After a television program recently profiled the case, investigators in Lower Saxony — where many of the robberies took place — said they had received 161 tips about the suspects’ potential whereabouts.

What did the RAF terror group do?

The three are said to have belonged to the so-called third generation of the RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof group. 

In the 1970s and 1980s, the RAF conducted a campaign of terror in then-West Germany through attacks and kidnappings, with a total of more than 30 murders attributed to the group. Authorities say the RAF was responsible for wounding another 200 people. 

The group’s activities reached a peak amid a major manhunt for RAF members in the so-called German Autumn of 1977.

The RAF’s victims included West German Attorney General Siegfried Buback, Dresdner Bank boss Jürgen Ponto, Deutsche Bank chairman Alfred Herrhausen, business executive Hans Martin Schleyer and senior West German diplomat Gerold von Braunmühl.

The RAF declared itself disbanded in 1998 and there is no evidence that the former terrorist organization is still active.

Police and special armed units stormed the western German city of Wuppertal’s central train station earlier this month after receiving a tip suggesting former left-wing terrorist Ernst-Volker Staub may have been sighted on a train there. Authorities said the initial suspicions about the man’s identity were not confirmed.

rc/sms (AFP, dpa) 

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