German army officer who posed as Syrian refugee on trial for planning attack on politicians
A young man who served in the German army has gone on trial for planning to attack at least one politician while posing as a Syrian asylum seeker in order to whip up anger against migrants.
The man, identified as Franco A., went on trial on Thursday, having been arrested in 2017. An investigation revealed that he had applied for asylum in 2016 under his Syrian refugee alias David Benjamin and succeeded in tricking authorities who granted him temporary residence in Germany.
According to investigators, the man posed as a French-speaking asylum seeker and claimed not to know a word of German. He traveled from the Illkirch barracks in France, where he had served in the prestigious Franco-German brigade, to his asylum hearing, where he faked the need for an interpreter.
Franco A was eventually arrested in Vienna in February 2017, while attempting to collect the loaded pistol he had stowed in airport toilets after an officers’ ball.
The prosecution said on Thursday that he had stolen ammunition from the German military and had identified former justice and current Foreign Minister Heiko Maas or Vice President Claudia Roth as possible targets for an attack.
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Speaking at the time, Ursula von der Leyen, who was then the German defense minister and now heads up the European Commission, said the attack would have been a “horror scenario.” “There would have been a weapon at the site with fingerprints on it. We’d have put the prints in the system and have got the match of a Syrian refugee,” she stated.
Franco A. denied the charge that he had planned an attack, telling reporters when he entered the court building in Frankfurt: “I can assure you I am not a far-right extremist … I have a clean conscience … I have never planned any actions to the disadvantage of any person.” The accused sported a beard and long black hair tied in a ponytail.
In 2015, there was an influx of 890,000 migrants into Germany, mainly from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Their massed arrival caused anger among German right-wing groups and provoked numerous protests.
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Source:RT World News