Berlin (AP) - According to a media report, a Berlin police officer is suspected of having disclosed internal information about the Islamist terrorist attack on the Christmas market to party friends from the AfD.
Prosecutors, police and the Senate administration confirmed the investigation, but did not want to comment on the specific allegations. According to the report by the ARD political magazine “Contrasts” and the NDR, the police chief commissioner is being investigated on suspicion of betrayal of official secrets.
The police officer is said to be a member of the AfD and to have given other AfD members internal information to the police in a chat group about the terrorist attack in December 2016 - for the first time 90 minutes after the attack. The next day, he is said to have sent results to investigate the truck with which the perpetrator drove to the Christmas market. Further news followed, according to the findings of the Berlin State Criminal Police Office (LKA).
According to the media report, a man who is now suspected to have been involved in a long series of right-wing extremist threats and some arson attacks in Berlin-Neukölln is said to have belonged to the chat group with twelve members. During a search last year, the police confiscated a man's cell phone, found the group chat, and came across the information from the police officer.
With regard to Neukölln, many politicians and initiatives have repeatedly criticized the fact that the investigations due to the attacks have so far largely been unsuccessful. The criminal police and Berlin's senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) had to justify themselves several times and assure further efforts. An extra group of investigators has been set up. However, no arrests have been made so far.
The Berlin police said: "The facts are known." The Kripo and the public prosecutor had "opened and persecuted him in the course of their meticulous investigations". It is being investigated on suspicion of violating official secrets. No further information could be disclosed due to personal rights and the ongoing investigation. The prosecutor said that it was "statements in the context of a chat group". A spokesman for Geisel (SPD) also replied to an inquiry: «The facts are known here. Due to the ongoing investigation, we will not be able to comment on this. »
The FDP representative in the Bundestag investigative committee on the terrorist attack, Benjamin Strasser, criticized: "Internal police information has no place in AfD chats, just like in other external chat groups." The investigative success could be massively jeopardized by such misconduct by police officers. "It is now highly likely that the information from this chat group has also flowed into other circles in the area of the AfD."
The assassin Anis Amri hijacked a truck on December 19, 2016, which he drove to the Christmas market on Berlin's Breitscheidplatz. He killed twelve people and injured many more. Amri had close contacts in the Salafist milieu and was a supporter of the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS).