Germany arrests Red Army member after decades on run

Germany arrests Red Army member after decades on run

Now 65, fugitive linked to notorious militant group wanted for armed robbery, attempted murder

A police forensic expert enters a building where Daniela Klette, a 65-year-old alleged member of the notorious Red Army Faction (RAF) militant group, was arrested after decades on the run, in Berlin on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)
A police forensic expert enters a building where Daniela Klette, a 65-year-old alleged member of the notorious Red Army Faction (RAF) militant group, was arrested after decades on the run, in Berlin on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

BERLIN - Daniela Klette, a member of the notorious Red Army Faction militant group, has been arrested in Berlin after decades on the run from armed robbery and attempted murder charges, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The arrest came after a police appeal for information about three Red Army Faction (RAF) fugitives on a popular TV crime show two weeks ago that yielded 250 tip-offs.

Markus Heusler, the prosecutor on the case, confirmed that Klette, 65, was arrested on Monday. She, along with the two other remaining fugitives from the gang, Burkhard Garweg and Ernst-Volker Staub, belong to the group’s so-called third generation.

Der Spiegel newspaper reported that police found ammunition in the apartment block in Berlin’s central Kreuzberg district where Klette was detained.

Founded in 1970 by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof among others, the first generation of the far-left RAF emerged from German student protests against the Vietnam War.

The group took hostages and murdered at least 33 people, including public officials, police officers, business leaders and US soldiers, during the height of its activity in the 1970s. It was also referred to at the time as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

The charges facing Klette, along with Garweg and Staub, relate to millions of euros’ worth of armed robberies and at least one attempted murder committed between 1999 and 2016.

But these crimes were not committed in RAF’s name: the group wound itself up in 1998, sending an anonymous letter to Reuters’ office in Cologne in which the remaining members declared that “the urban guerrilla group in the form of the RAF is now history”.

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