Members of a far-right German group arrested final week had been plotting “shocking” large-scale assaults on mosques just like those carried out in New Zealand final 12 months, a authorities spokesman mentioned on Monday.
Officials mentioned investigations into 12 males detained in police raids throughout Germany on Friday had indicated they deliberate massive assaults, following media reviews over the weekend the group aimed to launch a number of simultaneous mass-casualty assaults on Muslims throughout prayers.
“It’s shocking what has been revealed here, that there are cells here that appear to have become radicalised in such a short space of time,” inside ministry spokesman Bjoern Gruenewaelder advised reporters at a Berlin information convention.
According to media reviews, the group deliberate to make use of semi-automatic weapons to reflect assaults in Christchurch final March in New Zealand wherein 51 folks had been killed at two mosques.
“It is the task of the state, and of course of this government, to protect free practice of religion in this country, with no reference to what religion it might be,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert mentioned.
“Anyone practising their religion in Germany within our legal order should be able to do so without being endangered or threatened”.
The alleged chief of the far-right group, which was recognized to the authorities and whose conferences and chat exercise had been underneath commentary, detailed his plans at a gathering organised together with his accomplices final week.
Investigators discovered about that assembly from somebody who had infiltrated the group, reviews mentioned.
Prosecutors mentioned they’d launched early morning raids to find out whether or not the suspects already had weapons or different provides that could possibly be utilized in an assault.
The nation’s underground far-right scene is underneath elevated scrutiny because the homicide of conservative native politician Walter Luebcke final June and an October assault on a synagogue in jap metropolis Halle.
Der Spiegel reported that police at the moment listing 53 folks belonging to the acute proper as “dangerous” people who may perform a violent assault.
Germany’s home intelligence company estimates there are about 24,100 “right-wing extremists” within the nation, about half of whom are doubtlessly violent.
According to the federal government, there have been nearly 9,000 assaults by far-right teams and people within the first half of 2019 – a rise of nearly 1,000 in contrast with the identical interval the 12 months earlier than.
Meanwhile, there are rising considerations concerning the far proper’s political affect in Germany, following a latest scandal that noticed mainstream events collaborate with the nationalist Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) in a neighborhood election – a move Chancellor Merkel known as “unforgivable”.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and information companies