Germany replaces military intelligence boss after far-right scandals

BERLIN — Germany’s defense minister will replace the head of the military intelligence agency (MAD), her ministry said on Thursday, a move indicating she wants to do more to root out right-wing radicals from the armed forces.

MAD chief Christof Gramm had begun reforms to combat right-wing extremism in the military and achieved noticeable improvements, the ministry said in a statement, adding, however, that further progress was needed and this required more effort.

“This new phase should also be made visible in terms of personnel,” the statement said.

By mutual consent, Gramm is to be relieved of his duties next month, and will take early retirement, the defense ministry said, adding that a successor would be chosen soon.

Several incidents in the last few months have raised concerns about the influence of the far right in the military, an especially sensitive subject for Germans given the country’s Nazi past.

In June, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said she would disband a company in the military’s elite KSK special forces due to a persistent problem of far-right extremism within the ranks.

A KSK captain had asked the minister to intervene after he accused instructors and senior commandos in the unit of cultivating a “toxic culture of acceptance” under which complaints about far-right influence were suppressed.

In May, police seized weapons, explosives and ammunition during a raid on the private property of a KSK soldier in the eastern state of Saxony. As part of the crackdown, KSK operations are being moved to other units. (Reporting by Sabine Siebold Writing by Madeline Chambers Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Football news:

Hans-Dieter flick: I Hope Alaba will sign a contract with Bayern. Our club is one of the best in the world
Diego Maradona: Messi gave Barca everything, brought them to the top. He was not treated the way he deserved
Federico Chiesa: I hope to leave my mark in Juve. We will achieve great results
The Coach Of Benfica: I don't want us to look like the current Barcelona, it has nothing
Guardiola on returning to Barca: I'm happy at Manchester City. I hope to stay here
Fabinho will not play with West ham due to injury
Ronald Koeman: Maradona was the best in his time. Now the best Messi