In the search for the ex-RAF terrorists Burkhard Garweg and Ernst-Volker Staub, the investigators are preparing for a longer manhunt – but are “patient and persistent.” “I can’t imagine that the two of them are currently spending their days in peace,” said the President of the Lower Saxony State Criminal Police Office, Friedo de Vries, to the German Press Agency in Hanover. “We are determined to arrest Mr. Garweg and also Mr. Staub.”

The investigators are currently evaluating thousands of traces and finds – looking for the one crucial clue “that will best lead us to both or at least to one of them,” explained de Vries. The search pressure is high and the investigators are not giving in. The starting point of the manhunt, which has been ongoing since 2015, is being readjusted with current pictures of Garweg and evidence in the mid-four-digit range: “We are now in the year 2024 and are starting from scratch. And we have arrested Daniela Klette.”

The third generation of the Red Army Faction

The alleged accomplice of the two men, who had been living under a false identity in an apartment in Berlin-Kreuzberg, was arrested on February 26th. Like Garweg (55) and Staub (69), she belonged to the so-called third generation of the left-wing extremist terrorist organization Red Army Faction (RAF), which had carried out numerous attacks and killed people until 1991. The 65-year-old is in custody in the women’s prison in Vechta. Burdock, Staub and Garweg were or are also wanted for several robberies in which people were also shot. It was initially unclear why the series of robberies stopped in 2016.

According to the LKA president, the officers found large sums of cash in various denominations as well as weapons and ammunition in Klette’s apartment. This shows “the level of militancy and danger that can be assumed in connection with the wanted RAF trio.” The 65-year-old obviously had an intense connection with Garweg. Traces were also found in the apartment that indicate contact with dust. He didn’t give any details. A trailer container in Berlin where Garweg had been staying was also searched.

New Italian identity?

In view of the identification documents and aliases found, it cannot be ruled out that “a legend was prepared for a stay abroad.” Klette’s preference for Italian names could be related to the availability of identification documents and their security against forgery. “At least we have to assume that she learned the Italian language to create the legend,” he said.

De Vries emphasized that the investigators assumed that both Klette and Garweg were conspiratorial, cautious and rather reserved in their environment – despite the current photos of the 55-year-old. “Maybe it was the feeling of security because the camouflage had been worn for so many years,” said de Vries. “I wouldn’t call it careless.”

The “nice Martin from the trailer lot”

The LKA president described Garweg as a man with two faces: It seems paradoxical that the 55-year-old, a brutal robber and suspected member of the third generation of the RAF who is accused of attempted murder, is known in his community as the “nice Martin vom “Bauwagenplatz” was perceived. “This is where his two faces and what is probably his very own, ideologically influenced value system are shown.”

The fact that, according to his roommates on the trailer site, he was said to have shown himself to be social and empathetic is a clear contradiction: “We still find such disturbing personal justification strategies in the area of ​​political extremism today.”

The investigators are not yet aware of any accomplices in the left-wing milieu. The contact persons interviewed unanimously said that they knew nothing about the true identities of Klette and Garweg. It will now be clarified whether this is credible. “Ultimately, it must be noted that it is not unproblematic to get involved in a different way and to reveal yourself as an accomplice or escape helper,” emphasized de Vries.