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Arsonists attack home owned by chief of leading German arms manufacturer over Ukraine links

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German Left-wing extremists have launched an arson attack on the summer home of the chief of Rheinmetall, a major German arms manufacturer, in protest at his support for Ukraine.

In an anonymous post on social media, the activists said they had targeted the house of Armin Papperger because he was a profiteer of the “so-called Zeitenwende”, referring to Germany’s new European security strategy towards Russia.

“We placed an incendiary device on Armin Papperger’s garden house on the night of April 28 to 29, 2024,” the group, which did not identify itself, stated in a post on Indymedia.

“Rheinmetall is one of the beneficiaries of the so-called turning point [and holds] various old types of tanks that could now be sold to Ukraine with ammunition and at a hefty profit.”

Their remarks about tanks likely referred to German Leopard tanks which since the invasion of Ukraine have been sold to Rheinmetall for refurbishment, having spent years gathering dust in a Belgian warehouse.

The arsonists may have some links to the German Red Army Faction [RAF] (also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang), as it ended the post with the rallying cry “Free Daniela” – referring to the high-level RAF militant Daniela Klette who was arrested earlier this year after decades in hiding.

Rheinmetall, the fifth largest arms company in Europe, recently opened a factory in Niedersachsen to help step up production of artillery shells for Ukrainian troops.

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