German authorities have long been faulted for being unable to keep neo-Nazis and other far-right fringe groups in check. Now, it turns out that even those incarcerated have been able to communicate with their groups—and perhaps help them recruit—through a secret code passed along in letters and magazine advertisements, reports Reuters. Authorities uncovered the system in the last few weeks and have launched an investigation without providing many details.
"We know that far-right criminals are trying to build up networks and new organizational structures from prisons," says one justice minister. "We will stop this." The most sensational part of the story is that an inmate named Beate Zschaepe was on the network's address list. Zschaepe is accused of being a founding member of a group called the National Socialist Underground that has been blamed for 10 murders—most of the victims were ethnic Turks—and scores of violent crimes between 2000 and 2008. She goes on trial next week.