TerrorismGermany: Members of Extreme-Right Terror Network Arrested

Published 14 February 2020

German police said a group of far-right plotters were planning attacks against politicians, asylum seekers, and Muslims. The ultimate goal of the group, of which several members were arrested, was to instigate a civil war in the country.

German police said a group of far-right plotters were planning attacks against politicians, asylum seekers, and Muslims. The ultimate goal of the group, of which several members were arrested, was to instigate a civil war in the country.

The police raided thirteen locations across six states on Friday searching for evidence against the suspected ring-wing terror network.

During the raids, the police arrested 12 of 13 people suspected of being part of or involved with the terror cell. Federal prosecutors said the raids had confirmed suspicions of planned attacks.

Der Spiegel reports that the evidence gathered in the various locations raided by the police showed that the cell was planning attacks on politicians, asylum seekers, and Muslims.

Prosecutors said the group, founded by five right-wing extremists, hoped to plunge Germany into a civil-war-like state, but their plans had not yet reached fruition. Only four of the five group’s founders were taken into custody.

The eight other people arrested were suspected of financially supporting the core group, procuring weapons, and providing assistance for future attacks. All those detained were German and male, according to DPA news agency.

The raids were aimed at gathering enough evidence to charge the core group, which was allegedly founded in September 2019. Police said they were searching for weapons or other supplies that could be used in an attack.

German public broadcasters ARD and SWR reported the suspects had exchanged messages discussing ideas of the attacks and shared photos of homemade weapons.

The raids occurred in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saxony-Anhalt.

North Rhine Westphalia Interior MInister Herbert Reul revealed on Friday that an administrative police employee had been suspended in relation to the raids.

Die Zeit reports that German police and domestic intelligence have begun to focus on right-wing terror groups after the murder of conservative politician Walter Lübcke last June and an October attack on a synagogue in eastern city of Halle. Both cases were linked to the extreme right.

In December, the federal police have begun hiring 600 new specialists in an effort to strengthen intelligence gathering and analysis aiming to keep better track of the rising far-right extremist terrorist threat in the country.

Federal police said that in 2018 there were more than 24,000 active far-right extremists in Germany, with about 12,500 of them considered capable of carrying out violent acts. These total number far-right extremists, and those the police consider to be ready to carry out acts of terrorism, has increased in 2019 to 32,200 and 14,000, respectively. The police have also said that law enforcement has been keeping 48 extreme-right individuals, regarded as the most dangerous, under close surveillance, and that the twelve or thirteen individuals arrested Friday morning were from that group.

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