Daniela Klette, a member of Germany's notorious Red Army Faction (RAF) militant group, was arrested in Berlin after decades on the run. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)


Red Army Faction member arrested after years on the run


Daniela Klette, a member of Germany’s notorious Red Army Faction (RAF) militant group, was arrested in Berlin after decades on the run from armed robbery and attempted murder charges.

Klette, 65, a member of the so-called third generation of the militant group, has long been sought alongside two other members of the group, Burkhard Garweg and Ernst-Volker Staub, for a series of robberies and at least one attempted murder.

“Late yesterday evening, police succeeded in detaining Daniela Klette in a Berlin apartment,” Friedo de Vries, head of the criminal investigation department in Lower Saxony said on February 27 at a news briefing.

“She offered no resistance.”

At the end of the briefing, de Vries said he had just received news that a second arrest had been made in Berlin but that the detainee’s identity was yet to be confirmed.

Police stepped up their efforts to detain the fugitives after receiving a tip from the public in November. That led to an appeal on a popular TV crime show two weeks ago, which brought in 250 further tips that police are still processing.

“Terrorism will be fought with all legal means,” said Lower Saxony’s interior minister Daniela Behrens.

“Terrorists can never feel safe, not even after 30 years.”

Police seized a pistol, two magazines and cartridges in the apartment block in Berlin’s central Kreuzberg district where Klette was found alone, prosecutors said. She was later taken by helicopter to a jail in the northern city of Bremen.

Founded by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof among others, the hard-left RAF’s first generation emerged from German student protests against the Vietnam War in the late 1960s.

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 early 1970s.

Klette, Garweg and Staub are suspected of carrying out a string of armed robberies between 1999 and 2016 to support their fugitive existence.

The crimes for which they are being sought were not committed in the RAF’s name: the group wound itself up in 1998, sending an anonymous letter to news outlets in which the remaining members stated that “the urban guerrilla group in the form of the RAF is now history”.