German Special Forces Solider Sacked for Alleged Islamist Sympathies

CALW, GERMANY - JULY 14: KSK elite soldiers are seen during German Defense Minister Ursula
Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

A member of Germany’s Special Forces Command (KSK) has been sacked after the soldier in question was alleged to have sympathies with radical Islamic extremism.

The German Military Counter-intelligence Service (MAD) labelled the solider as an Islamic extremist last year, placing him in the “red category” for those recognised as extremists. After being subjected to a military disciplinary procedure he was removed from his role in the armed forces earlier this year.

The details of the soldier’s sacking have only just emerged in German media. According to a report from newspaper Die Welt, the KSK has had problems with at least 14 soldiers with extremist sympathies in 2019 alone.

Eight of those singled out by MAD were far-right extremists, four were Islamic extremists and two were so-called “Reich Citizens” — a group who deny the legitimacy of the German constitution and the Federal Republic of Germany as a whole.

The number of extremists in the KSK was in 2019 was double that of the previous year, which saw four right-wing extremists and three Islamic extremists identified by counterintelligence officials.

The German special forces are not the only branch of the German state to have problems with infiltration of Islamic extremists in recent years.

In November of 2016, an officer of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic security agency, was arrested after it was revealed that the 51-year-old not only had sympathies for Islamic extremism but had plotted a bomb attack against the agency.

The man was initially hired to monitor the radical Islamist scene in Germany but used his position to attempt to recruit radicals into the agency and carry out attacks. He was finally caught after trying to recruit a man who, unbeknownst to him, was a fellow BfV agent.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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