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by Our Foreign Desk
GERMAN police arrested yesterday four members of a far-right group allegedly plotting to bomb mosques and refugee centres and kill prominent Muslims.
In raids on homes in the states of Bavaria, Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, police detained three men and a woman and seized explosives.
Federal prosecutors said the four, identified only as Andreas H, Markus W, Denise Vanessa G and Olaf O were founders of the far-right Oldschool Society.
They were charged with terrorism offences and illegally procuring explosives.
Andreas H is named as Oldschool Society president and Markus W as its vice-president.
“According to current investigations, it was the group’s goal to conduct attacks in smaller groups inside Germany on well-known Salafists, mosques and asylum-seeker centres,” the prosecutors said in a statement.
“For this purpose the four arrested procured explosives for possible terror attacks by the group.”
But the authorities were uncertain whether the group had made definite plans for attacks.
The arrests came as German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere released new statistics showing that anti-semitic offences rose by 25 per cent last year to 1,596 after falling in 2013. Crimes against foreign nationals were up by 22 per cent to 3,945.
While Mr De Maiziere claimed the rise was partially due to new reporting methods that more closely tracked the motivation of perpetrators, he admitted: “This development is worrying and must be stopped.”
He said there was no one political solution to the scourge of bigotry, but that the “whole of society is needed.”
The group’s Facebook page was taken down at 2pm yesterday.
In recent years, Germany has seen a rise in far-right violence. Neonazi group the National Socialist Underground (NSU) was recently accused of murdering eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek and a German police officer between 2000 and 2007.
The NSU is also believed to be responsible for two bombings and 15 bank robberies. The group’s only surviving member Beate Zschaepe is currently on trial in Munich along with four alleged supporters.
Its existence emerged in 2011 when members Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boenhardt killed themselves following a botched bank robbery.
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