The case of two German soldiers accused of plotting terrorist attacks — and even creating a false identity so they could blame a non-existent refugee — has resurfaced awkward questions about the country’s Nazi legacy.
The government has promised to reform its armed forces amid a growing series of scandals showing links between members serving in the Bundeswehr and the far-right.
The crackdown includes all military facilities being searched after Nazi-era helmets, pistols and military decorations were reportedly discovered in a display case at a barracks.
Memorabilia from the Wehrmacht, the army which served Adolf Hitler, along with Nazi symbols are banned by the military.
In an extraordinary case that has captivated local media, a 28-year-old German lieutenant has been arrested after registering as a Syrian asylum-seeker for the sole purpose of conducting a terror attack under that alias.
Identified by prosecutors only as Franco A., the army officer who was attending an elite military college in France successfully negotiated an asylum hearing and even started receiving financial aid.
Authorities allege he was hoping to stoke anti-immigrant sentiment through an attack, which allegedly centered on an assassination attempt of a high-profile individual.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Nick Bailey and Carlo Wagner