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Saturday, September 15, 2007

The RAF and Stasi: false flags over Germany

In a week where bin Laden has yet again shown up, conveniently-timed, curiously-bearded and denouncing capitalism, today's Wall Street Journal article on the Red Army Faction in Germany couldn't be better timed to shed some light on the murky world where terrorism and intelligence services come together. Spurred by the mysterious murder of Deutsche Bank Chairman Alfred Herrhausen, the article delves into the interesting relationship between the East German intelligence agency, the Stasi, and the communist terrorist organization, famous for a long string of bombings, murders and kidnappings.

It's perhaps no surprise that there would be connections between these two organizations, but what probably is most interesting is the allegation that not only did the Stasi manipulate and cooperate with the RAF, but they also studied their methodologies so that they could engage in terrorism in West Germany under the cover of it being organized by the RAF. Thus, when the RAF proved too uncontrollable for their purposes, Stasi still had a cover for their actions in the West.
Based on these documents, German investigators increasingly believe that the Stasi played a more active role than previously believed in Red Army Faction terrorism. After years of not being able to draw parallels between the Stasi unit in Wartin and the Red Army Faction killings, police are now focusing closely on such a link. Joachim Lampe, who assisted the successful prosecution of the first wave of Red Army Faction terrorists up until 1982 and was then assigned to prosecute Stasi-related crimes in West Germany, says it's time to compare the activities of Wartin with the activities of the Red Army Faction to see where they overlap. "It is an important line of investigation," he said.

A year after the Red Army Faction's first generation collapsed in 1972, an internal Wartin report said cooperation with terrorists is possible if the individuals could be trusted to maintain secrecy and obey orders. Initial contacts, however, may not have taken place until later in the decade. Disillusionment gripped many of the terrorists living on the lam, according to court records citing witness statements by accused terrorists. Beginning about 1980, the Stasi granted refuge to 10 members of the Red Army Faction in East Germany and gave them assumed identities.

The Stasi sympathized with the anti-capitalist ideals of the Red Army Faction, but Stasi leaders were concerned about placing their trust in a group of uncontrollable leftist militants, a review of Stasi records shows. Stasi officials did not want to tarnish East Germany's international reputation, so they toyed with different concepts for cooperation with terrorist groups, according to a prosecutor who has investigated Stasi involvement with terrorism.

One suggestion, contained in a document prepared for new officers assigned to the unit, was to emulate Romanian intelligence, which successfully worked with the terrorist "Carlos" to bomb the Radio Free Europe office in Munich, Germany, in 1981. To assist in such operations, the Wartin unit developed highly specialized explosives, poisons and miniature firearms.

About 1980 the Stasi also proposed a second strategy: instead of using a terrorist group directly -- such cooperation always contained risk of discovery -- they could simply execute attacks so similar to those of known terrorists that police would never look for a second set of suspects, according to Wartin records. The Wartin leadership called this strategy the "perpetrator principle," according to Stasi records. The unit's progress in implementing the steps to imitate terrorist attacks is described in a series of progress reports by Wartin officials between 1980 and 1987.

In September 1981, Red Army Faction terrorists attempted to kill U.S. Gen. James Kroesen in Heidelberg, Germany, shooting a bazooka at his car. About the same time, members of the same Red Army Faction team visited East Germany, where they were asked by the Stasi to shoot a bazooka at a car containing a dog. The dog died, according to court records.

In Wartin, officials wrote up a detailed description of the Red Army Faction members' re-enactment of the Kroesen attack. "It is important to collect all accessible information about the terrorist scene in imperialist countries, to study and analyze their equipment, methods and tactics, so we can do it ourselves," a senior Wartin official wrote in February 1982, according to the report.
Curious indeed, but not surprising to students of the machinations of the various intelligence services. The flipside to the Stasi's intervention with the RAF is the Italian right wing and NATO's false flag terrorism during the Strategy of Tension. As "anti-terrorism" increasingly becomes the dominant theory (i.e., justification) of the elite political class, we can expect to see intelligence services operating with more and more of a free hand. Their interventions will become more numerous and more bold and their power will almost certainly grow to previously unseen levels.

Intelligence services offer the elite, under a paradigm of anti-terrorism and the cover of secrecy, both the means to achieve their goals and to create the excuses for their interventions at the same time. Capable of playing all sides in the global struggle for power, wealth and, importantly, control over domestic populations, intelligence services have and will continue to be a vital - and often unseen - tool of the elite. Where no threat exists, the intelligence services can create it. Where it exists, it can be manipulated. When it is manipulated, it can be exploited to create terrorist attacks or to sweep participants up in anti-terror operations, all of which justify the overall myth of terrorism.

Will the 21st Century be the century of the intelligence service?

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