1977: Red Army Faction Trial Ends

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In Stuttgart, West Ger-many, the lengthy trial of the leaders of the terrorist Baader-Meinhof Gang, also known as the Red Army Faction, ended with Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe be-ing found guilty of four counts of murder and more than 30 counts of attempted murder. Each defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment, Germa-ny’s most severe punishment.

The Red Army Faction was founded by ultra-left revolution-aries Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof in 1968. Advocating communist revolution in West Germany, the group employed terrorist tactics against govern-ment, military, and corporate leaders in an effort to topple capitalism in their homeland. Baader was imprisoned in 1970 but escaped, and Meinhof was captured in 1972. In 1976, Baader was recaptured, and Meinhof hanged herself in her cell.

During the trial of Baader and his associates, the few Red Army Faction members still at large continued their program of violence and assassination. In 1976, two Baader-Meinhof guerrillas took part in the Pal-estinian hijacking of an Air France jetliner that ended with the Israeli raid on the Entebbe airport in Uganda. Both Ger-mans were killed.

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