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Mugshots of third-generation RAF terrorists: often not even the names are known


LKA Lower Saxony

It is the first success in a long time: investigators have arrested the former RAF terrorist Daniela Klette in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Klette was in hiding for more than 30 years.

With her arrest, the former left-wing terrorist organization is suddenly the focus of attention again.

What were the goals of the RAF - and what were their actions?

The Red Army Faction (RAF) was formed in the early 1970s as a self-declared urban guerrilla.

Its founding largely goes back to Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof and today's right-wing extremist Horst Mahler.

She saw herself in the fight against a "global system of exploitation and oppression." Meinhof announced in 1970 what would follow on a tape recording with the words "Of course you can shoot."

The first attacks followed.

The group, often called the "Baader-Meinhof Gang" at the time, murdered a police officer during an arrest attempt in 1971 or carried out a bomb attack on the headquarters of the US armed forces in Frankfurt am Main in 1972, in which one person was killed - a total of 1,000 people died in the " May Offensive" four soldiers were bombed.

The command level around Baader, Ensslin, Meinhof and other members were soon in custody.

A second generation emerged, many of whose actions were aimed at freeing the prisoners.

The peak of the violence was in 1977: within a few months, the RAF first murdered Federal Prosecutor General Siegfried Buback and the head of the Dresdner Bank, Jürgen Ponto.

The “German Autumn” followed: an RAF terrorist squad kidnapped employer president Hanns Martin Schleyer, and allied Palestinian terrorists seized the Lufthansa plane “Landshut”.

The intended liberation of the prisoners failed, the special unit GSG9 freed the hostages on the plane.

As a result, the RAF murdered Schleyer and Baader, Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe, who was also imprisoned, committed suicide in the Stuttgart-Stammheim prison.

The following years were characterized by strong search pressure: more and more members of the second generation were caught, and many of them were in prison until the mid-1980s.

What was the so-called third generation about?

What was replaced was the second generation of terrorist squads, which were much more conspiratorial than their predecessors - and much more professional.

The names of many members are still unknown today; they murdered more precisely and left hardly any traces.

The attacks were directed against US soldiers or business leaders such as Deutsche Bank boss Alfred Herrhausen.

In 1991, trustee boss Detlev Carsten Rohwedder was shot by an RAF sniper.

It was the terrorists' last murder.

The last attack after around 23 years of terror was on a still unused prison building in Weiterstadt, Hesse, in 1993. The RAF was not officially over until 1998: on April 20, the group announced its dissolution in a letter sent to the media by post .

What happened to the third generation terrorists?

There weren't many, but a few terrorists did fall into the investigators' net - such as Eva Haule in 1986, actually known as "the woman who left no trace."

In 1993, Birgit Hogefeld was arrested during a GSG9 operation in Bad Kleinen in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania - her accomplice Wolfgang Grams was killed.

The circumstances of the operation triggered a political crisis - also forced by an incorrectly researched report by SPIEGEL, according to which Grams was deliberately killed by a police shot.

Three other people who investigators claim to have identified as members of the third generation remained in hiding for decades: Daniela Klette, Burkhard Garweg and Ernst-Volker Staub.

In addition to their actions for the RAF, the authorities accuse the three of a series of robberies on money transporters with which they are said to have financed their underground life.

A few weeks ago, the investigators finally started a new large-scale manhunt for the three, and there were new clues.

After a search call on the ZDF program “Aktenzeichen XY... unsolved” numerous tips were received.

Finally, Daniela Klette was caught.

Burkhard Garweg and Ernst-Volker Staub are still wanted.