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Minister: Germany to Make Reforms to Army After 'Extremist' Plot


FILE - German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen speaks to German soldiers during a visit to Camp Castor in Gao, Mali, Dec. 19, 2016.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday said she would respond to the discovery of a suspected plot in the German army with reforms, including revising one of the force's post-Nazi era founding principles.

German police on Tuesday detained a second soldier suspected of involvement in what prosecutors believe was a plan by a military officer and a student, both in custody, to carry out an "extremist" attack and blame it on migrants.

Von der Leyen, under fire for her handling of the growing scandal, told reporters she would on Wednesday inform a special session of the parliamentary defense committee about the investigation into the case.

She said the ministry would clarify its "Traditionserlass," a policy last updated in 1982 that gives a differentiated view of how troops are to treat and view the legacy of the German military.

Von der Leyen, whose post includes the role of commander in chief of Germany's armed forces, is a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel who is gearing up for a national election in five months' time.

The military needed a faster and more efficient reporting scheme for incidents and potential threats and would need to increase the political education of troops, the minister said.

"I am completely clear ... that we need a broad process in the military itself, that we must travel together – from recruits to generals, from instructors to the minister," she said.

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