German police defuse grenade found in Red Army Faction suspect’s home

By Thomson Reuters Feb 28, 2024 | 3:03 PM

BERLIN (Reuters) – The Berlin apartment block in which a suspected Red Army Faction (RAF) militant lived during three decades on the run had to be evacuated on Wednesday after authorities found a grenade in her apartment, police said.

Daniela Klette, 56, and two other suspects are alleged to have belonged to the third generation of the leftist militant group which from the early 1970s committed a string of murders and kidnappings of government officials, U.S. soldiers and German diplomats, originally in protest against the Vietnam war.

“Our specialists have so far removed one grenade from the flat on Sebastianstrasse in (Berlin’s) Kreuzberg and defused it in a safe place,” police wrote on social media. “Other objects are still being examined.”

It was unclear if a person detained on Tuesday and released the following morning was linked to the two remaining suspects: Burkhard Garweg, 55, and Ernst-Volker Staub, 69, who have also been at large for 30 years. Authorities declined to comment on media reports of a third arrest on Wednesday.

The charges against the three relate not to the militant group’s political crimes but to bank robberies and at least one attempted murder committed between 1991 and 2016 to finance their life underground.

It remained unclear where Klette, now in custody in the northern city of Bremen after her arrest in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, hid out over the past three decades, though newspaper Die Welt published footage appearing to show her dancing at a Berlin carnival in 2011.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by David Gregorio)