STUTTGART - The man who called himself Ryan Davis was playing a strange game. He moved in Neo-Nazi circles, and at the beginning of the new century he created a German chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in the city of Schwäbisch-Hall in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg.
But for years he also provided that state’s secret service with information – and was paid for doing so. Until now, it had only been rumored that he was an informant, but the Süddeutsche Zeitung has found confirmation in confidential secret service files.
According to the intelligence files, Ryan Davis was approached by authorities as early as 1994. He had attended a meeting of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) and had also played in a skinhead band. The secret service wanted him to report back on what was happening on the extreme right scene. At first Davis’s status was that of informant, but he then moved up to “V-Mann” – an undercover agent.
Then, apparently without the knowledge or help of authorities, Davis got the idea of opening a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan – the American racist secret society –and had himself anointed "Grand Dragon" for Germany in Mississippi.
In an Internet chat room, Davis had contact with another Neo-Nazi who as it turns out was also a “V-Mann” going by the codename "Corelli." Corelli worked for Germany’s federal secret service, the BND. Baden-Württemberg authorities in Stuttgart were in for a big surprise when they found out via this channel what their informant Ryan Davis was up to.
A bust of Hitler
Davis was apparently confronted about his Klan association by the secret service agent running him. Davis denied the activities, but in Nov. 2000, the secret service ended its association with him. Davis continued with his Klan activities, under the nose of Corelli who conscientiously continued to report everything back to the authorities, telling them that several German police officers had sought association with the Klan and had taken part in its ceremonies.
Davis finally caught on that he was being informed on, and this in conjunction with some personal problems led him to withdraw from the Klan in 2003.
He then turned to the secret service again. He told authorities what he knew about the Klan group that he himself had founded. He was paid for this information, but Süddeutsche Zeitung has not been able to ascertain how much.
Davis told the agents that once the Klan met in a mountain hut, the rooms of which were “adorned” with flags and a bust of Hitler. According to notes made by the agents, the former snitch also provided information about police officers who belonged to the secret group. If he is to be believed, there were quite a few police officers interested in becoming Klan members – ten to 20 in Stuttgart alone, all of whom “shared an extreme-right view of the world.”