BND is said to have been involved
The exchange of gunfire between RAF terrorists Verena Becker and Gunter Sonnenberg with the Singen police on 3. May 1977 still makes waves more than 30 years later. According to the author’s information from intelligence circles, the actual events at that time differed considerably from the officially disseminated version. According to the report, the German foreign intelligence service BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) was involved in the operation. Becker and Sonnenberg were under surveillance all the time.
Often, a person’s conscience can apparently weigh more heavily on him than the less rosy prospect of punishment under Section 353 b of the German Criminal Code. The law clearly states what can be expected of those who divulge official secrets: High fines or even imprisonment. This also applies to officials. They can be prosecuted even after they retire – by losing pension rights. This makes it all the more astonishing that (a few) former members of high security circles nevertheless reveal – in carefully measured doses – details from the time of terror in Germany. This was also the case in the momentous encounter between Verena Becker, Gunter Sonnenberg and the police in Singen on Lake Constance.
What is really said to have happened there: Right at the beginning of their journey from Essen to Singen, Becker and Sonnenberg were shadowed on train D-209. In an internal memo to the leadership of the Federal Criminal Police Office, it was stated that the terrorist couple had boarded the train together with three other persons. According to the written document, it was two women and one man who discovered the terrorists there. While the women with their luggage had already left the train in Bonn, the man had traveled with them to Karlsruhe.
The course of events in Singen itself the following morning also turned out to be different from that officially published. So not just any visitor to the cafe "Hanser" discovered the terrorists there, but rather a member of a BND target search team. The woman, who was trained in observation, and a colleague had been on Becker’s and Sonnenberg’s heels for some time at the time and were said to have met in Karlsruhe on the morning of the 3rd. The terrorists reported to the police on May 1, 1977, showing their service cards.
The plan is said to have consisted of getting Becker and Sonnenberg out of the cafe by the police "Hanser" (intelligence agencies were not allowed to make arrests), to then launch a raid whose theoretical planning is no longer comprehensible. "But the Singen police", so an official, "has screwed things up."
As a result, the well-known tragic course of events took place practically under the eyes of the secret service agents. Shortly before, Verena Becker had, according to statements by the cafe’s waitress at the time "Hanser" entered the toilet, which was subsequently clogged. It is possible that Becker wanted to make a suspicious object or a piece of writing disappear.
Documents in the main state archives in Stuttgart show that eight days later a Singen newspaper received a mysterious card on which a 7.65-caliber cartridge hull and a Schliebfachschlussel were stuck. To this the sender had formulated a text composed of newspaper letters. The Content: "Fight for Germany, merciless fight. Revenge for Stockholm. Dangerous: bomb in the main railway station, sinister: soon an attack with atomic waste, atomic ash, on Lake Constance."
Immediately, police specialists picked up the ominous card and accessories and went to the Singen train station. And indeed: The key fit the locker with the number 287. Inside, the officers stumbled upon an unusual explosive device equipped with a motion-sensitive fuse. Experts finally defused the bomb. During the search for the perpetrators, who are still unknown, police units found 140 sticks of explosives of Swiss origin, which were assigned to the RAF, on the side of the road from Radolfzell to Singen nine days later. In this case, too, the perpetrators are unknown to date.