German Turks call for disbanding of security agency after murders
BERLIN (Reuters) - The German domestic intelligence agency (BfV) should be disbanded because of its racist mentality, Germany's Turkish community said, a week after a probe found its negligence had enabled a neo-Nazi cell to commit nine racist murders.
Kenan Kolat, chairman of the organization representing Germany's 3-million strong Turkish community, said on Tuesday the BfV did not just contain "racist" people but it also had ingrained prejudices about migrants, which determined its action.
He called for the BfV to be scrapped and replaced with a new agency with new staff.
Last week a parliamentary committee delivered a stinging report stating German security forces shamefully neglected the threat of the far right and bungled investigations.
The report came after a 19-month inquiry into the National Socialist Underground (NSU) cell, whose chance discovery in late 2011 scandalized Germany and forced authorities to recognize the far right was more brutal than previously thought.
"We need a new body, with new staff. Because all of those who were in power at the time are still there. The structures have not changed, there has been no self-purging," Kolat said at a news conference in Berlin.
"It is not just about people who are racist. It is about mentalities. 'Turks are like this - Arabs are like this, the French, the Poles, the Russians, the Russian mafia'," he added.
Parliament's investigation revealed mistakes at all levels, by the patchwork of state and national police, prosecutors and intelligence agencies - and a systematic failure to consider racist motives behind the shootings of eight Turks and a Greek between 2000 and 2007, later attributed to the NSU.
Authorities assumed the killings must be due to feuds within the Turkish underworld and their one-sided investigations led to a series of dead-ends.
Victims' families have spoken of their despair at finding themselves the object of suspicion in the midst of their grief.
"The parliamentary committee did a good job but its conclusions fell short," Kolat said.
The committee recommended a series of measures including better co-operation between agencies, full consideration of racist motives, and a greater number of staff of migrant background, but it did not call for the closure of the BfV.
Beate Zschaepe, the only suspected member of the NSU who is still alive, went on trial in Munich in May. The case will run well into 2014.
(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Alison Williams)
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