Police confirm RAF terrorist captured after decades

Police confirm: RAF terrorist captured after decades

The arrest took place on Monday night in Berlin-Kreuzberg, mainly by the Lower Saxony police; the Berlin police were there only as support. On Tuesday, uniformed police officers stood in front of the seven-story building. The entrance was blocked. Forensic scientists were there and examined the apartment in question, near the former border between West and East Berlin.

Authorities confirmed the identities of those arrested in the afternoon. The decisive complaint came from the population in November 2023, it was stated at a press conference by the Criminal Police of the State of Lower Saxony and the Verden Public Prosecutor's Office. Ammunition was found in the apartment. According to investigators, Bardana was identified by fingerprint. She had an Italian passport with her and allowed herself to be arrested without resistance.

It was also announced that another person was arrested a short time later. He is a man in the “desired age range”, said the president of the Lower Saxony State Criminal Police, Friedo de Vries. The identity of the detainee is still being clarified, and it is not known for certain whether his identification document is genuine.

Apparently involved in the last RAF raid

Dust, Burdock and Garweg are assigned to the third generation of the RAF. Representatives of this generation are said to have killed the then chairman of Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, and the head of the trust, Detlev Karsten Rohwedder. Rohwedder was shot dead at his desk in his home in Düsseldorf on April 1, 1991. RAF command attacked him from an allotment location and more than 60 meters away. It was the RAF's last assassination attempt.

Klette is suspected of being involved in a failed bomb attack on Deutsche Bank's Eschborn Technical Center in 1990 and in a gun attack on the US Embassy in Bonn in 1991. Together with Garweg and Staub, among others, she is alleged to have carried out the last attack by the RAF before the dissolution of the terrorist organization in 1998: On March 27, 1993, several armed men broke into the Weiterstadt correctional center, which was under renovation and was therefore vacated, overpowered the guards and brought five explosive charges which they destroyed most of the facilities. Nobody is hurt.

Series of attacks

In 1999, a series of partially successful robbery attempts began, which were attributed to the three “RAF retirees” based on DNA samples. Five more supermarket robberies followed in 2014, before a series of seven largely successful robberies of supermarkets and cash-in-transit vehicles began in 2015. One of these was also investigated for attempted murder.

Burkhard Garweg, Ernst-Volker Wilhelm Staub and Daniela Klette

AP/BKA Photos of Garweg, Staub, and Burdock

German investigators feared that the group wanted to start a kind of fourth generation of the RAF. It was later assumed that there was no political motivation for the acts, but rather that the remaining members of the EX-RAF had to finance their lives in hiding. In total, around 1.6 million euros were stolen in robberies over the years.

I wait for clues about accomplices

How their lives went underground is not completely clear. However, for decades there were practically no traces of Klette, Garweg and Straub, and information from the population repeatedly came to nothing. Most recently, on February 14, the Verden Public Prosecutor's Office requested information about former terrorists in the ZDF program “Aktenzeichen XY… unsolved”.

Investigators hope Klette's arrest will also provide information about the whereabouts of Staub and Garweg – but it is doubtful the 65-year-old will comment. The RAF adopted a strict vow of silence, which all prisoners have adhered to thus far.