German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer pledged to take on radicalism in the country's armed forces, known as Bundeswehr, after reports emerged Sunday that a member of elite unit was to be suspended over suspected far-right radicalization.
According to Bild am Sonntag, the army was secretly investigating an officer with the elite KSK force and two other soldiers.
The latter two had allegedly made the banned Hitler salute during a private party hosted by the suspect who is to be suspended next week, according to the newspaper.
The elite KSK is charged with sensitive and risky missions including hostage rescue operations or anti-terror action abroad, but its image has long been tarred by suspicions of far-right inclinations in the force.
The head of the military's counter-intelligence service Christof Gramm had said that there are around 20 suspicious cases at the KSK, while the total for the whole army stands at 500.
German armed forces have repeatedly come under fire over the years over embarrassing associations with Germany's militaristic past.
Last week, the Defense Ministry in Berlin apologized for an Instagram post about fashion by the military's social media team that featured a Nazi-era uniform, complete with swastika-embossed medals, with the comment "retro."
In the meantime, recent police data revealed that the German far-right are stocking up on firearms, which prompted public concerns in the wake of the shooting on a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle in October.
First published: 13:10 , 12.02.19