German bomb suspect arrested
Yellowknife businessman faces extradition
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.