Since 2018, lawyers, politicians, journalists, and cultural workers have been receiving threats by email and fax, of which many contain information that can only be found in police databases. The series began with threats sent by fax to Frankfurt-based lawyer Seda Başay-Yıldız, who is best known for representing the Şimşek family in the NSU trial. But she has also been vilified for her willingness to represent people classified as Islamist terrorists in proceedings under the German law on foreign nationals.
The investigation revealed that on the day the threatening fax was sent, the relevant dataset (about her personal data) had been queried on the service computer of the 1st Frankfurt police precinct, using the access data of a Frankfurt police officer (a woman). A chat group was found on her phone in which she and other police officers of that same precinct were sharing racist messages and glorifying nazis. Apparently, the investigation revealed that it was a police officer named Johannes S. who had sent threats to Başay-Yıldız.
From that point, more cases were uncovered in which police officers illegally queried data in the police databases, and cases in which police officers had provided nazis with information or were active members of nazi and Reichsbürger groups, not only in the federal state of Hesse but also in Berlin and Hamburg.
Despite some of the authors of the threatening messages having been identified since, more threats keep being sent. Everything points to the existence of a network of nazis with excellent connections to the German security agencies, sharing information among themselves and going on with the NSU 2.0 series of sending targeted threats.
Yet, to this day, the authorities have seemed unable to identify the perpetrators. When the threats began, investigations moved slowly or not at all. Today, two years later, after it has become glaringly obvious that one isolated person could not possibly be the sole author of these attacks, several Public Attorney’s Offices are still investigating the same series of incidents, with very little progress.
This stalling is not surprising in light of the revelations linked to this case: for example (to name but a few), it was revealed that police officers of the 1st precinct of the Frankfurt police were communicating in a chat group in which they were sharing neo-nazi material, that they used the police databases to find specific data, and that they sent threats via fax. They clearly were not concerned about being noticed or about potential consequences. This is an indicator of the extent of the problem. If a group like that is active in that precinct, with that level of self-assuredness, more people must know about it: colleagues, superiors, the regulatory bodies. Yet, it seems like nobody actually minds that right-wing extremist police officers are active in Frankfurt’s 1st precinct.
Perhaps the Frankfurt police force should be disbanded and completely rebuilt, staffed by people who are committed to democratic principles and the safety of the local residents, instead of pledging allegiance to the thin blue line and the toxic esprit de corps of their police units.
How else could trust in the police be restored?
On August 2, 2018, lawyer Seda Besay-Yıldız received the first threatening fax, signed “NSU 2.0”. Personal data about her had been queried using the login credentials of an officer of the 1st precinct of the Frankfurt police.
In early January 2018, Besay-Yıldız received another threatening fax.
In June 2019, a police officer of the 1st Precinct of the Frankfurt Police was arrested on suspicion of having sent threats per fax. He was in a right-wing chat group of police officers belonging to this precinct. He was released shortly thereafter. The name of this police officer is Johannes S. He was released shortly thereafter. As of now, he remains the only prime suspect.
In February 2020, Janine Wissler, head of the Left Party parliamentary group in the state parliament of Hesse, received two threatening emails. They show considerable similarity to the other written threats signed “NSU 2.0”.
On July 9th, 2020, a Wiesbaden police officer was questioned about this matter, because his ID credentials had been used to query information about Janine Wissler on a police computer. He denied the accusation; therefore he was questioned only as a “witness”.
On July 13th, 2020, the identity of the next person who received targeted threats in emails signed NSU 2.0 was revealed: cabaret artist Idil Baydar. In this case as well, a police computer was used to query personal data about her.
In July 2020 more threatening emails were sent. Several journalists were among the people targeted.
In July 2020, it was revealed that Anne Helm, parliamentary group leader of the Berlin Left Party, and Martina Renner, member of the Bundestag, had also been sent threatening emails signed “NSU 2.0”.
On July 27th, 2020, a former police officer and his wife were briefly arrested for allegedly sending threatening emails in the name of the NSU 2.0. The police officer is a known activist of the so-called “Neue Rechte” (New Right) but probably did not query illegal data himself. He was found to possess weapons.
On July 29th, 2020, the trial against the suspect André M. (who is not a police officer) took place.
12.08.2020 On December 8th, 2020, the public prosecutor's office in Berlin closed the investigations into the NSU 2.0 threats sent to Baydar, on grounds that it did not learn about the illegal data searches.
13.08.2020 the Berlin Data Protection Supervisor publicly criticized the Berlin police for stubbornly refusing to investigate the illegal data queries performed on police computers.
On 26 August 2020, the Tagesschau reported that illegal data queries had also been performed in Hamburg, querying data about writer Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, who is also a columnist for Z. Zeitschrift Marxistische Erneuerung [Z. Journal Marxist Renewal]
On September 6th, 2020, four more police officers from Hamburg and Berlin were identified as suspects. They performed illegal date queries on the victims of the NSU 2.0 scandal.
Research report on the aspect of antifeminism in the threats sent by email and fax.
In November 2020, lawyer Seda Başay-Yıldız offered a monetary reward for useful information that could provide more clarity about the NSU 2.0. She denounced the authorities’ apparent unwillingness to move forward with the investigation.
03.12.2020 On December 3, 2020, Janine Wissler, Idil Baydar, and Seda Başay-Yıldız raised serious accusations against the Frankfurt police, speaking of “failings” in the investigation of the NSU 2.0.
03.02.2021 February 3rd, 2021 A few days after the verdict against the murderer who fatally shot politician Walter Lübcke [on 2 June 2019], a school in Wolfhagen that had changed its name to honor Walter Lübcke, the Walter Lübcke School, received a threatening letter signed “NSU 2.0”.
03.05.2021 Berlin – Der Verfasser der Drohmails mit dem Kürzel NSU 2.0 soll festgenommern worden sein. Es handelt sich um den bekannten Rechtsradikalen Alexandr M.. Er ist kein Polizist. Dennoch bleibt fraglich, wie er an die Informationen über seine Opfer herangekommen ist. Die Ermittler:innen behaupten, dass er durch fingierte Anrufe bei der Polizei die Daten abfragen konnte. Das ist aber sehr fraglich, weil eigentlich nicht möglich. Seda Başay-Yıldız, Idil Baydar, Anne Helm, Martina Renner, Janine Wissler und Hengameh Yaghoobifarah verfassen eine Erklärung, in der sie sagen: “Es gibt keinen Grund für Entwarnung.”