The Case “Simon Brenner”
Published by Linksunten Indymedia, 18 Dec 2010 – http://linksunten.indymedia.org/en/node/30880
On Sunday the 12th of December 2010 a undercover agent working for the Landeskriminalamt (LKA) Baden-Württemberg was uncovered in Heidelberg, Germany. His aim was to make contact with the Antifa scene via open left structures and to gather information about individuals as well as group structures to be presented directly to the LKA and the local state security division.
After three days of research and reconstruction the following has emerged:
The LKA informer had a German national identity card under the name of “Simon Brenner” (Nr.: 6920333978D-8604138-1511088), with the date of birth stated as 13.04.1986, living in the town of Leimen (Germany). Allegedly he formerly lived in Bad Säckingen in the Waldshut (Baden-Württemberg) area, which coheres with the license plate of his silver Nissan estate car (WT-??-???).
He used a mobile with the number 0049 (0) 151 20727114 and the email addresses email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, the latter has already been blocked. Under the user name ‘californiaction’ ha also wrote articles on Indymedia.
In the summer term 2010 he enrolled with most likely false documents at the University of Heidelberg in the subjects german philology and ethnology and for the winter term switched to ethnology and sociology (Student Nr.: 2858472).
- November 2009: first appearance on the students information day, first contact to the SDS Heidelberg
- April 2010: enrollment at the University of Heidelberg, involvement with the SDS
- 24.04.2010: participation in the direct action “Umzingelung des AKW Biblis” (“encirclement of the nuclear power plant Biblis”)
- 01.05.2010: participation in the blockades against the fascist protest in Berlin
- 15.05. – 23.05.2010: participation in the Campus Camp in Heidelberg, first contact the the “Kritische Initiative” (KI)
- 09.06.2010: participation in the anti education cuts protest in Heidelberg
- 26.07.2010: participation in a anti nuclear energy manifestation
- 15.08. – 21.08.2010: participation in a direct action climbing workshop
- 18.09.2010: participation in the the antifascist protests and blockades against the fascist protest in Sinsheim-Hoffenheim
- 27.09. – 03.10.2010: participation in the NoBorder Camp in Brussels (protests, direct action)
- 23.10.2010: participation in the antifascist protests in Rastatt and Rheinmünster-Söllingen against the fascist centre „Rössle“
- 06.11.2010: participation and co-organization of the protests against the nuclear waste transport and the ‘south blockade’ („Südblockade“)
- 14.11.2010: participation in the antifascist protests against the hero memorial of Heidelberg on the ‘honor graveyard’ („Ehrenfriedhof“)
- 27.11.2010: participation in the antifascists protests against the fascists protest in Sinsheim-Hoffenheim
- 11.12.2010: organization and participation of the Critical Mass Action in Heidelberg
The end of the operation
The agent was uncovered by a holiday acquaintance, which he had met in France before the start of his undercover mission. To her he presented himself as “Simon” and told her that he was a police officer in Überlingen. This holiday acquaintance then met him in Heidelberg while she was visiting a friend within the scene. Although he tried to pressure her not to say anything, she told her friend that he was a police officer.
Confronted with this accusation on the next day (12.12.), he admitted to have been sent to Heidelberg as undercover agent for the LKA.
He said, that he did normal police officer duty in Überlingen, but then, as he wanted to pursue a career, had to decide between BFE and LKA. He went for the latter. There he was in the division I540 (“undercover investigations state security”), and availed of a special training for undercover investigations as well as a briefing on the situation of the Heidelberger left scene.
The aim of his mission he said was “information gathering and threat prevention”, however without a concrete incident being the instigator nor there being a concrete suspicion (which by German law is necessary for such a mission). The long term goal of this long planed mission was to gather information about the “antifa-scene”. Over a medium term, he said, he wanted to try and make contact to the Antifascist Initiative Heidelberg (AIHD) and to infiltrate them.
Further on, he said he gave reports to his superiors in Stuttgart every two weeks, as well as having been in contact in a regular manner over the phone with the Heidelberger sate security division for follow up assessments of political actions.
He also self-confessed that he was responsible for the raiding of a flat of a comrade as well as the enormous police presence at the Heidelberger “Ehrenfriedhof” during the protests against the hero memorial.
During his deployment of nearly 9 months, he said that he gathered all information he could get on political activists and there private environment, to subsequently file these and then forward them to his superiors.
The goal of this mission was obviously the infiltration of and the widespread information gathering on the Heidelberg left, especially of the organized antifa scene. Through the selection of the groups and actions in which he engaged, he tried to establish a comprehensible theoretical as well as practical radicalization for “his” political peers. For this the snitch used low-threshold open structures and groups, to gather a credible reputation within the “scene” to then in a long term avail of precarious and sensitive information.
Even though this case in a shocking way demonstrates how parts of the executive forces undermine the constitutionally enshrined imperative of the separation between police forces and intelligence services and simply ignore the law with such a ruthlessness, also especially towards the psychological condition of the immediate persons concerned, we herby pledge not to set open structures and ‘scene-newbies’ under general suspicion.
Open structures and groups are necessary low-threshold points of reference for politically interested people. Nonetheless, it is necessary, now even more so than before, to instigate discussions within the organized left about the risks of open structures and to work towards a security concept beyond blind paranoia or to call security standards already in place into our minds and into political praxis!
No collaboration with state repression institutions!
Get organized! Support your local antifa!
ATTENTION: This reconstruction by no ways claims to be complete! If you should have more information about “Simon Brenner”, pictures or actions in which he took part, details of his life (also before his undercover mission), please refer to the Rote Hilfe or the Antifascist Initiative Heidelberg, whose statements and press releases are documented in the following links:
Follow up article
On the 12th of December 2010 a police spy of the Landeskriminalamt (police authority of the federal state) was uncovered. He had infiltrated the left-wing scene in Heidelberg in southwest Germany. The cover name of the spy was “Simon Brenner”. His real name is Simon Bromma. According to his cover story, “Brenner” came from Bad Säckingen. In fact, Bromma is from Radolfzell at Lake Constance.
Pigs, Fools, Squares
The fictional father of the politically interested student “Simon Brenner” is called “Franz” and lives at Zeppelinstraße 45 in Bad Säckingen on the southern edge of the land Baden-Württemberg. The policeman’s father is called Franz, too, and lives in southern Baden-Württemberg. The real Franz lives in Radolfzell and works in the Konstanz police department. Father Bromma is organized in the police trade union “Deutsche Polizeigewerkschaft”, a member of the church council of St. Meinrad, and “Fähnrich” (ensign) of the fool’s guard of the fool’s guild “Narrizella Ratoldi”, founded in 1933.
Simon’s brother Benjamin “Bennie” Bromma is a police officer, too. The “Polizeiobermeister” (police sergeant, first class) is organized in the same fool’s club as his father. He plays drums in the military style marching band of Radolfzell and the municipal youth orchestra “Gemeindejugend Mühlhausen, Ehingen & Aach”.
Simon Bromma himself is active in a gymnastic club. As “Turngauverantwortlicher” (responsible for the gymnastic district) he was responsible for the registration process of the “40. International Youth Camp of the Baden Gymnastic Youth in Breisach” in August 2008. For this he used his home address Allmendstraße 9, 78315 Radolfzell, phone 07732-971600 and his email address SimBromma@yahoo.de. No doubt: the Bromma family is deeply rooted in the traditional life of Radolfzell.
A cover close to the uncovered
In January 2010 – while he was looking for a flat as “Simon Brenner” in Heidelberg – Simon Bromma was also elected to the position of “Jugendwart” (youth coach) at the general assembly of his gymnastic club “Hegau-Bodensee-Turngau” at the Winegrower’s Centre of Wine and Culture in Meersburg. On the “Turngau” website, he’s still listed as “Jugendwart (kommissarisch)” (youth coach, provisional) with the address of the riot police in Wolfgang-Brumme Allee 52, 71034 Böblingen, phone: 0160-90646795, email: Jugendwart@Hegau-Bodensee-Turngau.de.
At the end of 2006, Bromma received his certificate of apprenticeship, and an award in metalworking. According to the hacked emails of “Simon Brenner”, he pretended to have finished an apprenticeship as industrial mechanic in papers he had to provide to potential landlords in Heidelberg. He told Heidelberg activists he had worked as a metalworker in his father’s company.
“Simon Brenner” liked to ride his bicycle from his flat just about outside Heidelberg into town. Simon Bromma participated in a bicycle race for his police department in Kirchzarten in the Black Forest in 2008. According to his ID card, “Brenner” was born on the 13th of April 1986. For his registration in Kirchzarten, Bromma gave 1985 as his year of birth. “Simon Brenner” used the Yahoo mail address email@example.com, Simon Bromma can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. Bromma used email@example.com for his Amazon account. On the 29th of October 2008, Bromma ordered a book with the title “Facing death every day: police officers recount [paperback]”. He provided his home address at Allmendstraße in Radolfzell as billing address.
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered
After finishing his training at the 5th section of riot police in Böblingen in 2009, Bromma started working at the police station in Überlingen, Mühlenstraße 16. According to him, he received several months of “special training” for undercover cops by the LKA (police authority of the federal state) and started building up the identity of “Simon Brenner” in the end of 2009. He actively infiltrated the left-wing scene in Heidelberg starting in April 2010. He reported back to the LKA, department “I540 Verdeckte Ermittlungen” (undercover investigations) and confessed to writing up his reports every second week in Stuttgart. He also kept in contact with the Heidelberg political police (“Staatsschutz”, part of the local criminal investigation department). His contact officers at the department of political police “Dezernat 14” in Heidelberg were Michael Schlotthauer (49 years) and Volker Schönfeld (46 years).
“Simon Brenner” used bank accounts with Postbank Stuttgart, account number 460730700 and Volksbank Rhein-Wehra, account number 43458302. He gave out the mobile phone number 0151-20727114 to his Heidelberg “comrades” and used the same phone to stay in touch with his case officers at the LKA. Another number of “Simon Brenner” was 0160-6543994. While looking for a flat, he was interested only in those a bit outside the city, even though his allowable expenses were high enough to pay for a room in the city centre: “My spending ceiling is about 500 € per month, without heating and other utilities.”
The cover story of “Simon Brenner” is quite close to his real life. From the cops’ point of view this makes sense. Similar names make it unlikely that his cover is blown by a chance encounter with an old acquaintance, and the spy reacts naturally to the familiar sound of his name. Neither the spy nor friends can accidentally reveal something with indiscreet chatter. The substantive overlapping of biographical data, home region, knowledge and hobbies of both the real and the assumed identities keeps the spy from having to pretend all the time. And a police family is the best assurance for loyal silence.
Snitches are the most abject of all
“Simon Brenner” was convinced that he could simply vanish. He believed in the anonymity of his real identity. For him, betrayal was just a game. But betrayal is no game. Simon Bromma will have to face the consequences of what he did.