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German KSK commando suspended for right-wing extremism

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KSK commando - German KSK commando suspended for right-wing extremism

German media outlets report a lieutenant colonel in the KSK has been suspended for right-wing social media posts. KSK Kommando Spezialkräfte (Special Forces Command KSK) is known as the most elite special forces unit inside German military forces. The colonel opinions reflected the ideas of the “Reichsbürger” extremist movement, according to the military’s counterintelligence service MAD.

“The person is already known by the MAD,” a spokesperson said. “The responsible authorities have already taken disciplinary measures.”

The commando, named Daniel K., has received service and uniform ban. The suspension was first reported by Bild newspaper, which said the lieutenant colonel was being investigated by the MAD for the “spread of right-wing extremism on social media.”

According to Der Spiegel magazine, Daniel K. posted his personal opinions in a closed Facebook group that reflected the ideas of the so-called “Reichsbürger” (Citizens of the Reich), an extremist movement in Germany that rejects the Federal Republic as a state and does not recognize the government. He allegedly demanded in a post that the Federal Presidential Office be abolished.

Der Spiegel said that lieutenant colonel Daniel K. was earlier involved in another disciplinary case. He was flagged by the MAD in 2007 as a KSK captain after he sent a hate letter to a comrade, for which he received disciplinary sanctions.

The KSK, a unit of about 70 soldiers, made headlines last year after a farewell party for a company commander featured a soldier demonstrating the Hitler salute and right-wing rock music. In January, the accused soldier, Patrick D., accepted a fine amounting to 40 days’ pay, or €4,000 ($4,500), after a lengthy trial. He had also been suspended in November 2018.

The MAD said a few weeks ago that it would be screening the Bundeswehr more closely for supporters of the Reichsbürger movement and the doomsday prepper scene. According to MAD, the number of right-wing extremist cases in 2018 was 270, down from 379 the year before. However, suspected cases of references to Islam in the Bundeswehr increased from 46 to 50 last year, and references to foreign extremism rose from 22 to 35.

KSK is considered as one of the most capable military special operations forces in Europe. KSK has received many decorations and awards from NATO, the United States and its affiliates and KSK operatives are frequently requested for joint anti-terror operations, notably in the Balkans and the Middle East.

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British Special Forces Lacks of Recruits

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British Army soldiers boarding Chinook

British elite special forces, including SAS and SBS, are 200 soldiers short after ­recruitment plunged 20 percent. The lack of “good quality” soldiers has hit the Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Service (SBS) and SRR, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. Hardest hit is the Special Boat Service, down in numbers by around 100. The SRR needs 60 and the celebrated Special Air Service – motto Who Dares Wins – is 40 light. Each unit normally has 340 to 400 operators.

Senior defense sources say the SBS and SRR are now classed as being “over-stretched” with troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Baltic States and Africa. The shortage is being linked to cuts and a recruitment and retention crisis affecting the rest of the armed forces.

The British Army is down in size from around 150,000 in 1990 to 78,000. Despite that reduction, the SAS and the SBS have remained the same size.

A military source said: “The talent pool is shrinking. A lot of guys who built up experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and who would often see the special forces as the next step have left. In the last 25 years, the SBS has increased in size and the SRR has been created but the Army has shrunk around 40 percent. So there are fewer quality people coming through. But we have been down this road before and it hasn’t had an impact on our operational commitments. It means that everybody has to work harder to get the job done.”

Twice-a-year selection courses are tough and an average pass rate of 10 percent has led to as few as eight recruits. One serving member of the SAS said: “Life is tough. You spend a lot of time on operations, overseas exercises and on courses. It is unrelenting.”

British Special forces earn about £30 extra a day but experienced operatives can earn far more in private security. The British MoD does not comment on special forces.

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Witness seeks immunity to testify against Navy SEAL accused of battlefield murder

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Chief Gallagher - Witness seeks immunity to testify against Navy SEAL accused of battlefield murder

Prosecutors could gain an ally in the case of a Navy SEAL accused of executing a young ISIS fighter during the battle of Mosul in 2017 and his commanding officer, who allegedly failed to report the incident.

Author of the article:

An attorney for a fellow SEAL has requested immunity for his client in return for testifying that Chief Edward Gallagher called in “false target coordinates to engage a mosque” and put his team at risk, yet Lt. Jacob Portier failed to relieve him on several occasions, Navy Times’ Carl Prine first reported.

Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder for allegedly using his knife to kill a wounded ISIS fighter and then posing for a reenlistment video next to the man’s corpse. Portier has been charged with obstruction of justice and related offenses for allegedly destroying evidence in the case and lying about Gallagher, as well as dereliction of duty for allegedly not stopping Gallagher from wounding two non-combatants.

The SEAL who served with Gallagher and Portier is requesting immunity so that he will be protected against any possible retaliation in the future, said attorney Michael Hanzel, who is defending the SEAL along with his wife Lauren and a Navy attorney.

“Our client has done nothing wrong, and we believe the record will demonstrate that,” Hanzel said in a statement to Task & Purpose.

“It is never an easy thing to be placed in the middle of a situation like this, but it is crucial to the integrity of the military justice system that witnesses in a case as high-profile as this are protected from retaliation later. The only way to ensure that is through grants of immunity, which is why we requested that for our client.”

The SEAL is showing “great courage” by offering to testify about what he witnessed during the deployment with Gallagher and Portier, said Hanzel, who added his client is not seeking any publicity, nor does he bear a grudge against any of the accused SEALs.

The full article can be found here.

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