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World Germany replaces military intelligence boss after far-right scandals

13:41  27 september  2020
13:41  27 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Germany 's defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will replace the head of the military intelligence agency (MAD), the ministry said on Thursday, a move indicating she wants to do more to root out right -wing radicals from the armed forces. MAD chief Christof Gramm had begun reforms to

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany ’s defence minister will replace the head of the military intelligence agency (MAD), her ministry said on Thursday, a move indicating she wants to do more to root out right -wing radicals from the armed forces. MAD chief Christof Gramm had begun reforms to combat

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's defence minister will replace the head of the military intelligence agency (MAD), her ministry said on Thursday, a move indicating she wants to do more to root out right-wing radicals from the armed forces.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wearing a suit and tie: German Defence Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks to media in Berlin © Reuters/POOL German Defence Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks to media in Berlin

MAD chief Christof Gramm had begun reforms to combat right-wing extremism in the military and achieved noticeable improvements, the ministry said in a statement, adding, however, that further progress was needed and this required more effort.

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BERLIN — After a series of scandals involving far - right extremists in the German military , the government on Thursday dismissed the head of its military counterintelligence service, the body tasked with monitoring extremism inside the armed forces. Christof Gramm, who has led the agency since

The head of Germany ’s military counter- intelligence service has been dismissed amid a sweeping probe into hundreds of soldiers for suspected links Christof Gramm will go into early retirement next month after leading the intelligence organization – known by its acronym ‘MAD’ – for five years, the

"This new phase should also be made visible in terms of personnel," the statement said.

By mutual consent, Gramm is to be relieved of his duties next month, and will take early retirement, the defence ministry said, adding that a successor would be chosen soon.

Several incidents in the last few months have raised concerns about the influence of the far right in the military, an especially sensitive subject for Germans given the country's Nazi past.

In June, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said she would disband a company in the military's elite KSK special forces due to a persistent problem of far-right extremism within the ranks.

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Germany 's defence minister says she has ordered the partial dissolution of the elite KSK commando force, which has come under growing criticism over right-wing extremism in its ranks. In January, military intelligence said there were almost 600 suspected far - right supporters in the army last year.

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A KSK captain had asked the minister to intervene after he accused instructors and senior commandos in the unit of cultivating a "toxic culture of acceptance" under which complaints about far-right influence were suppressed.

In May, police seized weapons, explosives and ammunition during a raid on the private property of a KSK soldier in the eastern state of Saxony. As part of the crackdown, KSK operations are being moved to other units.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Mark Heinrich)


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