Wuppertal: After police operation: person arrested is not an ex-RAF terrorist

Scenes like those from the 1970s: Heavily armed special police forces took a man from a train at Wuppertal Central Station and arrested him because an eyewitness mistook him for a wanted ex-RAF terrorist.

Wuppertal: After police operation: person arrested is not an ex-RAF terrorist

Scenes like those from the 1970s: Heavily armed special police forces took a man from a train at Wuppertal Central Station and arrested him because an eyewitness mistook him for a wanted ex-RAF terrorist. The Wuppertal police said the suspicion that it was Ernst-Volker Staub (69) had not been confirmed. The innocent gentleman and his companion were released after their identities were checked.

The main station had previously been cordoned off over a large area and train traffic via Wuppertal was interrupted for several hours. Passengers had to leave long-distance trains and continue their journey in taxis. The train was surrounded and the public was put off with a “safety disruption in the track area”. It was announced on one of the affected trains that an explosive device had been found.

There were delays in rail traffic, affecting the route between Hagen and Cologne and Düsseldorf. Several long-distance trains and regional traffic were affected by the disruption, and rail traffic was rerouted.

Another search attempt via “Case number XY ... Unsolved”

"The initial suspicion about the man's identity was not confirmed," the police said after several hours. The ZDF program "Aktenzeichen XY ... Unsolved" launched a new search call for three ex-RAF terrorists who are still wanted on Wednesday.

Afterwards, over 160 tips were received about the three former members of the Red Army Faction (RAF), as the Verden public prosecutor announced. These tips are currently being evaluated by the Lower Saxony State Criminal Police Office.

The accused Ernst-Volker Staub, Daniela Klette and Burkhard Garweg are accused of attempted murder in connection with a series of serious robberies. The three went into hiding in the 1990s. DNA evidence led investigators to the conclusion that the trio was responsible for robberies of cash transport and supermarkets between 1999 and 2016.

Crime scenes included Osnabrück, Wolfsburg and Stuhr in Lower Saxony as well as Hagen and Bochum in North Rhine-Westphalia. The public prosecutor's office assumes that the attacks were not politically motivated. The RAF disbanded in 1998 and then committed no more terrorist attacks. The accused are said to have committed the robberies to get money. When robbing money transporters, for example, they were heavily armed.

Nine murders have not yet been solved

The left-wing extremist organization Red Army Faction (RAF) was considered the epitome of terror and murder in the Federal Republic for decades. In total, the RAF murdered more than 30 people and more than 200 were injured. Victims included Federal Prosecutor General Siegfried Buback, Dresdner Bank boss Jürgen Ponto and employer president Hanns Martin Schleyer.

Dust, burdock and Garweg are assigned to the so-called third RAF generation. Representatives of the generation are said to have killed the then head of Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, and the head of the Treuhand, Detlev Karsten Rohwedder. Rohwedder was shot dead at his desk in his home in Düsseldorf on April 1, 1991. The RAF commando targeted him from an allotment location and more than 60 meters away. It was the last RAF assassination attempt.

A hair found at the crime scene could be attributed to Wolfgang Grams, who later died in Bad Kleinen. However, traces of saliva indicate at least one other, unknown person at the crime scene. Nine RAF murders are considered unsolved.

The last RAF attack took place in March 1993 with an explosive attack on the construction site of the Weiterstadt prison. Over 200 kilograms of explosives destroyed three accommodation buildings and the administration wing of the institution under construction. No people were injured. The property damage amounted to 80 to 90 million DM.

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