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Racism key in German killings, panel finds

BERLIN — A far-right murder spree went undetected for years because German security services made scores of errors, partially because of institutional bias against immigrants, a parliamentary inquiry concluded Thursday.

The cross-party committee’s nearly 1,400-page report follows a 19-month review of how police and intelligence agencies failed to stop a National Socialist Underground from killing eight Turks, a Greek, and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007.

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The group was only linked to the killings after two key members died in a murder-suicide after a botched 2011 bank heist. A third suspected main member is on trial.

Committee members said police and intelligence agencies were quick to attribute the slayings to organized crime by immigrant groups — never considering the possibility that the killings could been racially motivated.

As one of 47 recommendations, the committee said German police and prosecutors should be required to consider the possibility of a killing being a hate crime in every incident where the perpetrator is unknown.

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