German bomb suspect arrested
German bomb suspect arrested
Yellowknife businessman faces extradition
Dawn Ostrem Northern News Services
Yellowknife ( May 22/00) - RCMP arrested a German national Thursday who first
came to Yellowknife 16 years ago. Walter Lothar Ebke, 46, was arrested
on charges made by German federal authorities related to a radical
leftist terrorist group -- the Revolutionary Cells. "We arrested
him at home without incident," explained Sgt. Phil Johnson,
unit commander for the RCMP "G" division. "He was
calm although somewhat surprised we were at his door and co-operated
with the arresting officers."
Ebke appeared in Supreme Court in Yellowknife to set a date for
a bail hearing within 24 hours, which is mandatory under the Extradition
Act. He appeared somewhat dishevelled and intense as he was led
into court Friday afternoon. When Ebke left the court, he had his
head covered by a towel. Ebke, who is currently a Canadian resident
as well as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany, was remanded
back in custody until the hearing, which is scheduled for May 25
in Yellowknife. An arrest warrant was issued March 9 by the Federal
German Court of Justice seeking the extradition of Ebke following
the arrest of a 51-year-old man in Berlin in April on similar charges.
Both men are allegedly involved in the Revolutionary Cells, a faction
of the Baader-Meinhof gang of terrorists.
The charges relate to the bombing of a social welfare office on
Feb. 6, 1987, a building for people seeking asylum in Berlin. They
are also wanted for an attempted bombing of the Victory Column,
a Berlin landmark, on Jan. 15, 1991, as well as alleged involvements
in Berlin shootings in 1986 and 1987 of a federal judge and former
city official, both of whom survived. "All allegations stem
from when he was in Germany and the lead agencies are German authorities,"
Johnson explained, "For the past several weeks it was being
pursued here and came to a conclusion (May 17) with Mr. Ebke's
arrest. "It was working its way through the (Canadian) Department
of Justice levels for several months now." Ebke owns the Back
Bay Boat, Bed and Breakfast in Yellowknife, known for the RCMP boat
on its lawn. He came to Yellowknife on a canoe trip 16 years ago
and started the bed and breakfast last year. He is also known for
boat building, repairing and restoring through his business, Lothar's
Workmanship Solutions, which he started about five years ago.
The Revolutionary Cells are terrorist cells organized in Frankfurt,
Germany in the 1970s and grew to several hundred members in the
mid-1980s, according to information found on the World Wide Web.
It also says they function as "semi-autonomous cells, each
aware of the group's overall mission yet mostly unaware of the
identities of other group members." Members are believed to
have stolen large amounts of explosives in the 1980s which have
never been recovered, according to German authorities.