German soldier found guilty of planning terrorist attacks while posing as a refugee | Germany
A German soldier with far-right views has been convicted of planning to carry out false flag attacks against senior politicians and public figures while posing as a Syrian refugee.
Frankfurt’s Higher Regional Court on Friday sentenced Franco Albrecht, 33, to five and a half years in prison for plotting a “serious act of violent subversion”, violating German weapons and explosives laws and two counts of fraud.
The first lieutenant of the joint Franco-German brigade held “extreme right-wing and ethno-nationalist” beliefs and blamed what he saw as the “disintegration of the German nation” on politicians with pro-refugee views, said judge Christoph Koller. the tribunal.
The verdict in the long-delayed trial comes after years of growing concern over networks ‘preparing’ former and current servicemen and the effectiveness of Germany’s security services in resisting right-wing extremism.
Albrecht was arrested in 2017 after he was caught retrieving a loaded gun he had previously hidden in a public toilet at Vienna airport.
A fingerprint match revealed the graduate of the prestigious Saint-Cyr military academy in Brittany had led a double life as a Syrian Christian asylum seeker. Under the false identity of David Benjamin, he had registered with the authorities of the Bavarian town of Erding and had been granted asylum.
Prosecutors believed the ultimate intent of Albrecht’s appearance was to carry out far-right terror attacks against politicians and public figures with pro-immigration views, prompting an “X-Day” scenario of collapse of society.
The name of Green politician, now Culture Minister Claudia Roth, was found scrawled in Albrecht’s diary, and it was discovered that he had visited and taken pictures in an underground car park under the offices of anti-racism activist Anetta Kahane.
Investigation revealed he had a copy of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf and described immigration as a form of “genocide”.
“The defendant is a far-right, radical terrorist,” District Attorney Karin Weingast said during the trial, which began in May 2021. The prosecution had requested a sentence of six years and three months in prison.
During the trial, Albrecht confessed to posing as a Syrian refugee and deriving benefits from it, as well as illegally possessing weapons, explosives and ammunition.
He claimed to have done so with no intention of carrying out an attack, but simply to protect himself and his family in the event of a Russian attack on Western Europe or the collapse of civil society.
Albrecht had gone to Kahane’s garage with the intention of soliciting a conversation about Angela Merkel’s asylum policy, he told the court. As evidence of his curiosity and unconventional methods of seeking out people he was interested in, he cited an unannounced visit to the home of British conspiracy theorist David Icke on the Isle of Wight, although Albrecht did not clarified whether the two men had actually met.
The purpose of his dual identity, according to Albrecht, was to show how easy it was to exploit the German asylum system.
Regarding the hidden weapon that led to his arrest, the soldier told the court that he picked up the weapon after he had hazarded it while urinating drunk in a bush one evening, then only walked away. realized he was still carrying it in his jacket as he approached airport security the next day.
A forensic expert who appeared in court disputed Albrecht’s account, saying she found his fingerprints not only on the outside but also inside the gun. “It was a weapon he used regularly,” she later told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Albrecht, who was out on bail when the trial began, was arrested in February this year and remanded in custody. Military counterintelligence had observed him picking up a bag from a soldier friend in Strasbourg that contained Nazi-era military insignia, as well as diaries in which Albrecht wrote about a military coup and a ‘final solution’. .
During a raid on his apartment, the police found 21 mobile phones, 50 prepaid phone cards, five machetes and a fake vaccination certificate. Three other firearms, which the soldier during the trial admitted to having purchased, are still missing.