The trio that made up the NSU, apparently aided by a network of helpers, allegedly shot dead nine small businessmen of Turkish and Greek origin and one German policewoman in a killing spree that lasted from 2000 to 2007. They are also believed to have injured more than 20 people in two bomb attacks on people of Turkish descent and committed over a dozen bank robberies.
Authorities have had to admit that their investigations were hampered by a lack of coordination, and that they made crucial mistakes. Criticism only intensified following the recent discovery that an official at the Office for the Protection of the Constitution shredded files relating to the NSU.
New Mistakes Emerge
In an address on Wednesday to Saxony's state parliament, state Interior Minister Markus Ulbig also spoke of striking errors made by individuals within the agency. According to Ulbig, transcripts of telephone conversations wiretapped by the intelligence agency in 1998 have only recently come to light, though in the past he has said that Saxony had already made all related documents public.
Though the telephone surveillance was documented in reports to Saxony's parliamentary control commission, news that transcripts exist is new. Their content, however, remains unclear.
Disciplinary action has been taken against employees of Saxony's intelligence agency, and Boos deeply regrets the situation, said Ulbig, adding that he would accept the intelligence chief's resignation with a "heavy heart."
"In the last months (Boos) gave his personal word that this would be cleared up openly, truthfully and thoroughly," said Ulbig. "That's why he is deeply disappointed by this incident. Under these conditions he can no longer lead the agency with the necessary trust."
Ulbrig went on to say that the newly discovered files would be passed on the federal and state committees looking into the matter, in addition to appointing an independent expert to accompany the investigation.
The state of Saxony, where the right-wing extremist Zwickau cell hid for years, feels a special responsibility in clarifying how officials failed to catch the group earlier. But until now, Saxon officials have found no fault with their law enforcement authorities in an investigation into the case.
Intellpuke: This article is a compilation of reporting by Spiegel Online journalists and various news agencies; you can read it in context here: www.spiegel.de/international/germany/another-spy-chief-quits-as-new-errors-emerge-in-zwickau-cell-investigation-a-843872.html