Published: 29 Jan 12 12:38 CET
Police questioned a member of a neo-Nazi terror cell just months before the gang killed a policewoman – but asked her about water damage to a flat, having no idea she was connected to a string of shootings, it emerged on Sunday.
In what will be an embarrassing revelation for the authorities, Der Spiegel magazine reported that officers questioned Beate Zschäpe in 2007, but did not realise that her inconsistency could have been connected to anything sinister.
She is considered a crucial member of the self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU) which claimed responsibility for killing nine small business owners and workers between 2000 and 2006. Eight of the victims were of Turkish origin and one was Greek.
The gang are thought to have shot a policewoman to death and stolen her weapon in 2007, three months after Zschäpe was questioned.