Reports link far-right to murder of German politician

Published 18.06.2019 00:00

German authorities have said they had arrested a man in connection with the murder of a local politician, who was vocally pro-migrant. German media reports suggested the suspect could have far-right links.

Police and prosecutors issued a joint statement that they had taken a 45-year-old man into custody Saturday over the killing of Walter Luebcke, a prominent member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party, earlier of June.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily reported that the suspect "comes from the far-right scene," without providing further details. Germany language daily, Bild, citing unnamed investigators, said the suspect "could belong to the right-wing extremist scene."

Luebcke was shot in the head from a close range on the terrace of his home in Kassel, around 160 kilometers northeast of Frankfurt. Luebcke, the head of the city administration in Kassel, had spoken out in defense of migrants at the height of Europe's refugee crisis in 2015, drawing the fury of the far right. Since his death, hundreds of posts from different social media accounts, tied to right-wing extremists, hailed the murder.

As support for the far-right has grown over the last four years, German authorities are increasingly concerned over growing right-wing terrorism in the country. Recently, a secret report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) revealed last month that right-wing extremists are preparing for "a civil war scenario" by training to use firearms and explosives.

"Those people are collecting firearms and other supplies in preparation for ‘a civil war' or ‘a feared collapse of public order' in the country," the report said.

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