TerrorismGermany investigates “right-wing extremist” murder of a pro-immigration politician

Published 18 June 2019

A German pro-immigration politician has been murdered in what appears to be an execution-style assassination. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has described the attack as “right-wing extremist” in nature, saying it was “directed against us all.”

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Tuesday said the German security services are working on the assumption that the murder of a politician in the central German city of Kassel was politically motivated.

According to what we know, we must now assume that the perpetrator is a right-wing extremist and that the crime has a right-wing extremist backdrop,” Seehofer said at a press conference.

Walter Lübcke, district president of Kassel and supporter of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy for refugees, was shot dead earlier this month. He received a bullet wound to the head in what appeared to be an execution-style assassination.

DW reports that the main suspect, identified by German media as Stephan E., is believed to be a far-right sympathizer. Federal prosecutors took over the case on Monday, one of the first signs the murder was the result of a politically motivated attack. Seehofer confirmed those suspicions on Tuesday.

A right-wing extremist attack on a leading representative of the state is an alarm bell and is directed against us all,” Seehofer said. “Right-wing extremism is a considerable and serious problem to our free society.”

If prosecutors prove that the murder was politically motivated, it would be the first of assassination of a sitting politician in Germany since the 1970s, when the Baader-Meinhof group, a self-styled Marxist urban guerrilla, targeted several West German politicians and business people. Federal prosecutors on Monday said there was no evidence to suggest the suspect was part of a far-right network.