TERRORISMFar-Left Fugitive German Terrorist Arrested

Published 27 February 2024

The RAF (Red Army Faction) is the official name of the leftist Baader-Meinhof gang, which terrorized West Germany from the late-1960s to the early 1990s. RAF member Daniela Klette, 65, was on the run for more than 30 years. She was arrested in Berlin over the weekend.

The ex-RAF (Red Army Faction) terrorist Daniela Klette has been arrested in Berlin, the German Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The RAF is the official name of the leftist Baader-Meinhof gang, which terrorized West Germany from the late-1960s to the early 1990s.

The now 65-year-old was on the run for more than 30 years, joined by fellow former left-wing terrorists Ernst-Volker Staub, 69, and Burkhard Garweg, 55. Between 1999 and 2016, the three fugitives robbed cash, stole cars, and stole from supermarkets in order to keep running.

Investigators also accuse them of at least one attempted murder.

Klette was arrested on Monday evening in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. According to information from the German Press Agency, she resided in a seven-story apartment building on Sebastianstrasse. On Tuesday, uniformed police officers stood guard in front of the building and only people who lived in the building were allowed to go inside. Forensic scientists were going through the apartment where she lived.

Following a popular television program which recently profiled the case of the three fugitives, investigators in Lower Saxony, where many of the robberies took place, said they had received 161 tips about the suspects’ potential whereabouts.

The public prosecutor’s office said that the various crimes committed by the three fugitives had no political motive, but were carried out so the three could continue to hide from the authorities.

The three former terrorists committed their crimes in various parts of Germany — including Osnabrück, Wolfsburg, and Stuhr in Lower Saxony as well as Hagen and Bochum-Wattenscheid in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Staub, Garweg, and Klette belong to the so-called third RAF generation. Members of that terrorist generation murdered the then-head of Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, and the head of the Treuhand, Detlev Karsten Rohwedder, at the end of 1989. Rohwedder was the last RAF murder victim in April 1991.

The RAF was officially dissolved in 1998. For decades it was considered as the most violent terrorist group in the Federal Republic. In total, the RAF murdered more than 30 people and more than 200 were injured. Victims included Federal Prosecutor General Siegfried Buback, Dresdner Bank boss Jürgen Ponto, business executive Hanns Martin Schleyer, and senior West German diplomat Gerold von Braunmühl.

The group also robbed dozens of banks and firebombed buildings.