Germany Reforms Military To Get Rid Of Nazis

REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen vowed to reform the German military Wednesday to reverse a rising trend of extremism in the ranks.

Inspections of every German Army barracks took place over the weekend after Nazi-era memorabilia was discovered at two locations. The move follows the arrest of two officers suspected of plotting an attack disguised as Syrian refugees.

Germany is currently investigating 275 cases involving racism and right-wing extremism within its military forces. Around 70 percent of the cases have emerged over the past year and a half, which some say indicates a wider problem that’s just starting to gain attention.

“I am completely clear … that we need a broad process in the military itself, that we must travel together — from recruits to generals, from instructors to the minister,” von der Leyen said at a press conference Wednesday, according to Reuters.

New measures will include a faster and more efficient reporting scheme and “political education” of troops.

German military intelligence has further exposed 20 Islamists in its military ranks, with 60 others being investigated as of last fall. Investigators believe Islamists join the military to gain training they could later apply to carry out attacks.

The government will impose increased security checks on everyone applying to join the military starting this summer.

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