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Thomas Sippel, German State Intel Chief, Fired Over Neo-Nazi Case

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The former President of the Thueringer State Office for Constitutional Protection, Thomas Sippel, in Berlin on Nov. 23, 2011. (Michael Gottschalk/dapd)
The former President of the Thueringer State Office for Constitutional Protection, Thomas Sippel, in Berlin on Nov. 23, 2011. (Michael Gottschalk/dapd)

BERLIN — The head of a German state intelligence agency is being fired over the botched handling of investigations into a neo-Nazi group believed to have killed 10 people over several years.

Thuringia state Interior Minister Joerg Geibert said Tuesday that Thomas Sippel no longer enjoys the trust of the state legislature and will be sent into early retirement, the German news agency dapd reported.

The move comes a day after Heinz Fromm, the head of Germany's national domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, stepped down amid criticism of how his agency has investigated the far-right group.

The small group – which originated in Thuringia state – evaded authorities' detection for more than a decade until last year. Its alleged victims were mostly of Turkish origin.

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