One of Germany’s most notorious criminals arrested after decades on the run

Key Points
  • Notorious Red Army Faction member Daniela Klette has been arrested in Berlin after 30 years on the run.
  • A police appeal on a popular TV crime show led to her arrest.
  • Local media reports police found ammunition in the apartment block where Klette was detained.
Daniela Klette, a member of Germany’s notorious Red Army Faction militant group, has been arrested in Berlin after decades on the run from armed robbery and attempted murder charges, prosecutors say.
The arrest comes after a police appeal for information about three Red Army Faction (RAF) fugitives on a popular TV crime show two weeks ago that yielded 250 tip-offs.

Markus Heusler, the prosecutor on the case, confirmed that Klette, 65, was arrested on Monday.

Police officers stand in front of the entrance to a residential building where former RAF terrorist Daniela Klette was arrested in Berlin. Source: EPA / Clemens Bilan

She, along with the two other remaining fugitives from the gang, Burkhard Garweg and Ernst-Volker Staub, belong to the group’s so-called third generation.

Der Spiegel reported that police found ammunition in the apartment block in Berlin’s central Kreuzberg district where Klette was detained.

Founded by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof among others, the RAF’s first generation emerged from German student protests against the Vietnam War.

Three images of three different people in black and white positioned side-by-side. The person on the left has short, curly hair and is looking away from the camera. The middle image shows a close-up of a person with short hair and a mustache and the the image on the right shows a person with long hair, who is looking away from the camera.

The undated wanted photos provided by German Federal Criminal Police show from left, Burkhard Garweg, Ernst-Volker Wilhelm Staub and Daniela Klette who are suspected of being members in the RAF terror group. Source: AP / AP

Daniela Klette has been arrested after more than 30 years on the run, German authorities say.

The group took hostages and murdered at least 33 people, including public officials, police officers, business leaders and US soldiers, during the height of its activity in the 1970s.
The charges facing Klette, along with Garweg and Staub, relate to millions of euros’ worth of armed robberies and at least one attempted murder committed between 1999 and 2016.

But these crimes were not committed in RAF’s name: the group wound itself up in 1998, sending an anonymous letter to Reuters’ office in Cologne in which the remaining members declared that “the urban guerrilla group in the form of the RAF is now history”.

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