BACKGROUND INFORMATION

   
   

Campaign Against Criminalisation
of the Anti-racist Movement



After a violent police raid by 1.000 officers on 19/12/99, our colleague Harald Gloede, member of the anti-racist and refugee organisation FFM in Berlin, has been arrested under accusation of membership in the "Revolutionaere Zellen". Several other activists have been arrested as well and have been in solitary confinement in prison ever since.
The trial will start on 22 March 2001.
Many of us know Harald as an active supporter of (undocumented) refugees and as anti-racist campaigner.
We demand the immediate release of Harald and all others and we will organise the solidarity until this aim is achieved!
We will not accept the criminalisation of the movement against "Fortress Europe"!


CONTENTS

1. The "Mehringhof" centre

2. The Revolutionary Cells (RZ): A Chronology Of Repression

3. A Short Biography of Tarek Mousli



1. The "Mehringhof" centre

The "Mehringhof" centre in West Berlin, once a squatted complex but now a collectively owned project, has been home to scores of political projects and initiatives ranging from alternative and ecological collectives, Turkish and Kurdish leftist organizations, and autonomist and antifa groups for well over a decade. Despite a marked decline in the strength of the extra-parliamentary left in Berlin over the past few years, police repression against the (autonomist) left has never lessened.
First the wave of repression against the autonomist periodical "Interim", then the elimination of the remnants of the squatters movement, now the recent anti-terrorist police raids on the Mehringhof can be seen as part of the "green-left" German government's determination to cleanse the new capital city of all forms of fundamental opposition. Following the murder in Vienna this September of alleged Red Army Fraction (RAF) member Horst Ludwig Meyer and the arrest of Andrea Klump, the German government's current wave of repression aimed at the now-defunct Revolutionary Cells (RZ) is further evidence that the "social democratic" states of the European Union are just as determined as ever to elimate the revolutionary movement, despite the fact that most of the militant armed left in Europe has disbanded itself and given up the armed struggle. Updates on the Mehringhof raids and the repression against alleged RZ members can be found (in German) at www.freilassung.de

(Taken from: Arm the Spirit)



2. The Revolutionary Cells (RZ): A Chronology Of Repression

August 1978
Following involuntary statements by blinded RZ member Feiling, a German federal court issued arrest warrants for Sabine Eckle, Rudolf Schindler, Sonja Suder, and Christian Gauger, who are alleged by police to be the Frankfurt cell of the RZ. The four go underground. Tarek [see below] later tells police that Schindler and Eckle lived in Berlin-Kreuzberg from around 1985 to around 1990.

October 26, 1986
The chief of the Foreigners' Division of the bureaucracy [the 'Auslaenderbehoerde'] in Berlin, Harald Hollenberg, is shot in the legs outside his home in Zehlendorf. The police suspect a man and a women carried out the attack, with other men acting as lookouts. The escape vehicle, a Volkswagen Passat, is later discovered in flames. Hollenberg not only pursued a hardline as head of the 'Auslaenderbehoerde', he also was guilty of accepting bribes and was eventually forced to resign from his post.

February 1, 1987
Bomb attack by the RZ on the 'Zentrale Sozialhilfstelle fuer Asylbewerber' in Berlin. The attack caused only minor damage, but a later firebombing by the Revolutionary Viruses/Youth Organization of the RZ burned the building to the ground.

September 1, 1987
The RZ attack Gunter Korbmacher, Chief Justice of the Federal Administrative Court. The 61-year-old was shot twice in the thigh as he left his house. The police suspect two people carried out the attack and then fled on a motorcycle. The motorcycle, with a fake number tag, was later found nearby. Korbmacher's rulings as judge included one which stated that the oppression of Tamils was not systematic and that therefore each asylum case had to be judged individually. He also spoke out in favor of tightening Germany's asylum laws; he was well ahead of the times in doing so.

December 18, 1987
Nationwide police raids against the RZ and Rote Zora result in 33 arrests, including the arrest of Ulla Penselin and Ingrid Strobl. Four people, including Ulli Dillmann, Thomas Kram, and Corinna Kawaters, avoid the raids and go underground.

April 1988
The police confiscate a car in Dahlem which had been stolen in August 1987. It contains 3kg of explosives, a gas cannister, an alarm clock, two motorcycle helmets, two jogging pants, two wind jackets, and several bags. The car is said to have been an RZ escape vehicle. The explosive did not ignite.

October 1988
The Federal Prosecutor's Office drops its investigation of Schindler and Eckle.

June 1989
Ingrid Strobl is sentenced to 5 years in prison for "supporting a terrorist association". Later the sentence is reduced to 3 years.

January 1991
Rudolf Schindler and Sabine Eckle reappear on the wanted posters.

January 1991
Failed attack on the Social Ministry in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the State Chancellor's Office in Dusseldorf. Soon thereafter, the cell responsible for these actions announces its dissolution, and the end of the RZ begins.

February 1991
Bomb attack on the 'Siegessaeule' war monument in Berlin in protest against the Gulf War.

June 1991
Firebombs ignited inside the 'Reichstag' in Berlin as an RZ protest against the planned move of Germany's capital back to Berlin.

July 1991
The Revolutionary Cells firebomb two Kaiser's supermarkets, since the chain has plans to construct a new supermarket on the site of the former Ravensbruck concentration camp.

November 1992
Several homes and workplaces are searched by police in Berlin. Police suspect one Berlin resident is a member of the RZ and participated in the Korbmacher attack. The investigations are later closed.

late March 1995
The Federal Attorney's Office (BAW) claim that two youths stole two dozens packets of the explosive Gelamon 40 as well as 4.15m of fuse wire from a cellar in Prenzlauer Berg.

early April 1995
Police confiscate the above mentioned explosives from the youths, who claim to have found the materials in a park. The significance of the discovery does not dawn on the police at first. It isn't until the spring of 1999 that the cops claim the explosives are part of a cache of explosives stolen by "unidentified RZ members" from a construction site in North Rhine-Westphalia on June 4, 1987. These explosives are said to have been use in at least three RZ attacks or attempted attacks. Another round of interrogations with the youths takes the police to the cellar.

October 25, 1995
Corinna Kawaters turns herself in to federal authorities, after having made contact with Mr. Benz of the intelligence agency (VS).

mid-1990s
Ulli Dillmann resurfaces after the investigations against him are closed.

March 1998
The trial against Corinna Kawaters begins. She is accused of having been a member of the RZ/Rote Zora for at least 11 months in 1987. During a search of her home, an alarm clock was confiscated.

June 1998
A court in Stuttgart rules on Corinna Kawaters' case.

1998
Hans Jochaim Klein is arrested in France.

May 19, 1999
Tarek Mousli, said to have rented the cellar mentioned above, is arrested and charged with supporting a terrorist association. He is detained in prison. A former partner of his during the 1990s is also implicated in renting the cellar. Tarek expresses no interest in political support. He treats the matter as a personal matter. Neither he nor his lawyer have offered any information about what the police were interested in. A short notice in a Berlin daily newspaper about his arrest is the only source of information for the political movement.

July 7, 1999
Tarek Mousli is released on bail. He makes a brief statement about the charges.

November 13, 1999
Rudolf Schindler is arrested in Frankfurt on charges of "accomplice to murder" as a result of statements made by Hans Jochaim Klein.

November 17, 1999
Federal authorities file charges against Rudolf Schindler after Klein says he was involved in the OPEC action and provided logistical support.

November 23, 1999
Tarek Mousli is arrested again, this time for being the "leader of the RZ in Berlin" and is taken to Ossendorf Prison in Cologne. He is concretely charged with the October 28, 1986 shooting of Harald Hollenberg. He is also said to have fired the two shots at Gunter Korbmacher on September 27, 1987. It's surprising that the BAW did not simply charge him with participating in the attack but rather with actually firing the shots.
He is also said to have participated in the February 6, 1987 RZ bomb attack in Berlin. and to have had "immediate access to the weapons depot of the RZ in Berlin". He is also said to have "participated in the strategy discussions within the RZ in the early 1990s". The BAW have not said where their evidence for these charges comes from. Tarek's lawyer makes no statement on the matter. Rumor has it that statements were made by a former partner of Tarek (1995), who, after a long stay abroad, told everything she knew to police. Tarek is said to have spoken openly of his past with her. At exactly the same time on this day, eight sites are raided by police, five in Berlin, two in Brandenburg, and one in Saxony-Anhalt. Four of the sites were regularly used by Tarek, four were the homes of contact persons. These include the homes of Axel H. and Martin B., who had "intensive personal and written contact with the accused" according to authorities. Also, the home of a woman and the woman's partner are also searched by police. Tarek's home is also searched, as are his two martial arts studios in Prenzlauer Berg and Marzahn in Berlin.

December 6, 1999
An article appears in a Berlin newspaper which claims the police are investigating Stasi lawyer Jurgen Wetzenstein-Ollenschlager. He is said to have been involved in concealing millions of German marks belonging to the Stasi and went underground in 1992. He is said to be living somewhere in East Berlin. From the article it becomes clear that the woman whose home was searched because of Tarek's statements was Ollenschlager's ex-mother-in-law. According to the article, the police searched the home of a "Ms. K" to find a kind of "life insurance" policy belonging to Tarek Mousli, which lists him as a participant in RZ actions. Whether such a text was actually found is not clear.

December 14, 1999
Tarek's lawyer resigns. By this point it should have been obvious that Tarek was handling everything, since his lawyer, a friend of his for many years, could no longer go along with what was happening. But this information was not made known to people in the movement effectively enough. From this day on, at the latest, Tarek began making statements to police. The arrest warrants for Axel, Harald, Sabine, and Rudolf were signed on this date, as was the search order for the raid on the Mehringhof complex. It can be assumed that Tarek has entered the state witness protection program ('Kronzeugengesetz'), and that in future he will be given a new identity with the help of state authorities.

December 19, 1999
The Mehringhof and the private homes of Axel, Sabine, and Harald are raided by police. Rudolf, already in prison because of Klein's statements to the cops, is handed a second arrest order. Despite the efforts of more than 1,000 cops, no RZ weapons depot is uncovered inside the Mehringhof. The raids and arrests were the direct result of statements given by Tarek Mousli. Rumor has it that Tarek gave police the names of 50 people associated with the RZ.

December 27, 1999
An article in 'Focus' magazine mentions a list with the names of 50 suspected RZ members. It's unclear whether this list really exists, or if it has any judicial relevance, since the statute of limitations on most actions has expired. The fact that the BAW are having problems with the statute of limitations is made clear by the fact that the 1980 accidental fatal shooting of Hessian Economics Minister Karry is no longer referred to as "assault resulting in death" but instead is called a "murder". There is no statute of limitations on murder charges.

January 4, 2000
Tarek is said to have made further statements to police and is willing to speak with investigators to clear up inconsistencies in his earlier statements.


(Translated by Arm The Spirit from 'Interim' #492 - January 27, 2000)



3. A Short Biography Of Tarek Mousli

The following is a subjective assessment by some people who have known Tarek pretty well for quite some time. The points mentioned do not give a complete picture of Tarek, but it should make the recent events more clear to people who don't know him.

Tarek Mousli was born on March 19, 1959 in Beirut, Lebanon. His mother is German, and his father is a citizen of Saudi Arabia. After a few years in Beirut, Tarek grew up in Germany. His youth was spent studying near the North Sea. He went to Kiel in the 1970s to attend university, and there he joined the squatters' movement and the anti-nuclear scene.

After a time in Hamburg, Tarek came to Berlin in the 1980s and was engaged in the autonomist scene in many ways. His main interest was martial arts. He seemed especially interested in attaining formal recognition, such as "black belts". Sometimes he lived alone, sometimes he lived in collectives in formerly squatted houses.

Because he always had problems with his visa status when he travelled abroad, Tarek applied for German citizenship in the 1980s. He didn't have problems on the German side, rather it was the Saudi Arabians who made it difficult for him to give up his citizenship there. They finally relented after two years.

Tarek had some long-term relationships, and several affairs. He was known even in those days as someone who liked to tell stories to women about his adventures. It would be tempting to dismiss this fact as typical crap, but it was this tendency of his that tripped him up in 1995 and 1999.

In the mid 1980s, he worked in an alternative photo collective, and eventually set up his own independent business. But this went bankrupt in the late 1980s, since he could not keep up with the swift technological changes in that market.

In the early 1990s, Tarek gradually disassociated himself culturally with the "Kreuzberg scene". This was partly illustrated by his lavish wedding to his then-girlfriend. But they got divorced a year and a half later. Also at this time, he organized 24-hour-care for a paraplegic friend of his who was paralyzed in an accident, sparing him from professional care and admission to a care home. But the two later had a falling out over money.

In the 1990s, Tarek showed more interest in East Berlin and eventually moved there. He opened a martial arts studio in Prenzlauer Berg, and later another studio in Marzahn, where even cops took part in training sessions.

(Translated by Arm The Spirit)


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