Ex-Red Army Faction members carried out failed robbery: German prosecutors

 20 Jan 2016 - 0:00

Ex-Red Army Faction members carried out failed robbery: German prosecutors


By Joseph Nasr

BERLIN: Three members of the defunct radical leftist Red Army Faction carried out a failed armed robbery last year to finance their life on the run, German prosecutors believe.

The two men and one woman have been in hiding since the group disbanded in 1998 after decades of violence against businessmen and government officials.

They were identified through DNA tests carried out on a car abandoned after the attempt last June to steal 1 million euros ($1.09 million) from an armoured vehicle in a town near the northern city of Bremen, the prosecutor general’s office said in a statement.

A product of the radical anti-establishment student politics of the 1960s and the anti-Vietnam war movement, the Red Army Faction killed an estimated 34 people between 1970, when it was founded, and 1991.

The group’s campaign of terror peaked in 1977 when it kidnapped and killed industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer, filming him during his captivity.

Prosecutors identified the three members wanted for the robbery attempt as Ernst-Volker Staub, 61, Burkhard Garweg, 47, and Daniela Marie-Luise Klette.

They are also suspected of involvement in an attack  on a prison near Frankfurt in 1993, and stealing 1 million Deutsche marks (now 511,000 euros) from an armoured car in July 1999.

Prosecutors believe Klette took part in a shooting at the U.S. embassy in Bonn in 1991 and a failed car bombing of a Deutsche Bank building a year earlier.

($1 = 0.9175 euros)

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; editing by John Stonestreet)