Confidential informants like Kai D. can be the most valuable tool for the intelligence services, because they can go to places were the authorities cannot. But they also pose a risk to democracy. The letter "V" in "V-Mann" -- "Vertrauens-Mann," the German term for informant, which translates loosely as "Confidence Man" -- doesn't really stand for "Vertrauen," or "confidence," but for "Verrat" ("betrayal"), says Hans-Jürgen Förster, the former head of domestic intelligence for the eastern state of Brandenburg. Informants often have divided loyalties.
The 10 murders carried out by the neo-Nazi NSU have shown how the risks of the far right were widely underestimated. In fact, the diversity of the far right makes it a real challenge for the security services.
In 2000, the neo-Nazi terrorist group National Socialist Underground (NSU) shot dead Enver Simsek, a florist with Turkish background, in Nuremberg. It was the beginning of an unprecedented series of murders that ended in 2007 with the death of police officer Michele Kiesewetter in Heilbronn.
OTTAWA - The Conservative government's decision to abolish the CSIS inspector general's office is a "huge loss" to the important task of keeping an eye on Canada's spy service, says the woman who held the job for the last eight years.
Eva Plunkett retired last December and the Conservative government subsequently scrapped her watchdog role, saying it would save money and eliminate duplication.
She had a staff of eight and a budget of about $1 million.
Minister of the Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich on Saturday rejected the suggestion from the German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger that the intelligence service should be made smaller. “This is a sweeping statement that I cannot back,” he said, adding that only by improving the service’s performance could it recover from the high-profile misjudgements it made in connection to a string of neo-Nazi murders – and seeming attempts to cover them up. Friedrich said increased efficiency rather than a reduced size would be key to meeting future challenges.
Berlin - Germany opened a new national agency Friday charged with tracking subversion by neo-Nazis, in response to criticism that police overlooked a trio of neo-Nazi serial killers for more than a decade.
The self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU) allegedly killed nine immigrants from 2000 to 2006 and a police officer in 2007, but all the crimes remained unsolved until the gang collapsed with the death of two members and the survivor turning herself in.