Day X

A German soldier, a faked Syrian identity and a loaded gun in an airport bathroom crack the door open to a network of far-right extremists inside the German military and the police. It’s a story about a changing national identity — and the backlash against it — raising a question that democracies across the world are waking up to: What happens when the threat is coming from within?

The story of Franco A., the military officer who faked his identity, was widely publicized in the German press. Then reports emerged that he wasn’t alone — that soldiers and police officers across the country were organizing via encrypted messages. They were preparing for the day they believed democracy would collapse, a day they called Day X. In this episode, we ask: Just how dangerous are they?

Transcripts of each episode are available by the next workday. You can find them at the top of the page.

Day X is made by Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Kaitlin Roberts, Larissa Anderson, Mike Benoist and Katrin Bennhold. Additional reporting by Christopher Schuetze. Engineered by Dan Powell. Original music by Hauschka and Dan Powell. Research and fact-checking by Caitlin Love. Special thanks to Anita Badejo, Liz Baylen, Lisa Tobin, Lisa Chow, Claudine Ebeid, Rachelle Bonja, Stella Tan, Soraya Shockley, Lauren Jackson, Nora Keller, Desiree Ibekwe, Julia Simon, Tanjev Schultz, Jörg Echternkamp, Miro Dittrich, Michael Slackman, Jim Yardley, Kirk Kraeutler, Sam Dolnick, Matt Purdy and Cliff Levy.

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