New arrest in German neo-Nazi murder probe
German authorities made a fresh arrest Thursday in the probe of a neo-Nazi cell believed to be behind 10 unsolved murders of mainly Turkish shopkeepers that has deeply embarrassed the country's leaders.
The GSG9 elite anti-terror police unit captured a 32-year-old alleged accomplice identified only as Andre E. in the eastern city of Potsdam and searched four homes, the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.
It said the suspect is under investigation for "supporting a terrorist network," the National Social Underground (NSU), which is believed to have gunned down the 10 victims in a decade-long killing spree across the country.
Prosecutors said Andre E. had close contact with NSU members since 2003 and is suspected of making a chilling video in 2007 -- discovered only this month -- in which the militants claimed responsibility for the murders.
"The suspect will appear before an investigating judge of the Federal Court of Justice in the course of the day," the statement said. The office declined to provide further information.
Two members of the NSU were found dead this month in an apparent suicide while a third suspect, a 36-year-old woman, turned herself in but has reportedly refused to talk to police.
Another man, 37, has been detained on charges of aiding and abetting the group as police search for further accomplices.
The case has sparked allegations that the country may have turned a blind eye to the threat posed by right-wing extremism, despite Germany's deep-seated shame over its Nazi past.
And it has revived calls by political leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel to examine a potential ban of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party, after an attempt that was struck down by the constitutional court in 2003.
Merkel has called the killings a "disgrace for Germany" and parliament on Tuesday approved a cross-party motion acknowledging gross errors made in investigating the murders and keeping tabs on the far right.
© 2011 AFP