Members of the far-right group arrested in Germany on Friday were planning large-scale attacks on mosques, according to revelations Sunday evening from two German media.
Der Spiegel magazine and the daily Bild reveal that the group wanted to strike Muslim places of worship during prayer. Its twelve members were taken into custody on Saturday after searches were conducted across Germany on Friday.
Extremists were planning to emulate the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 51 people in two mosques last year. They intended to use semi-automatic weapons in particular.
Knives, crossbows and grenades
Their presumed leader, known and monitored for several months by the authorities, had detailed his plans at a meeting organized with his accomplices last week. Investigators learned about it from an informer who had infiltrated the group, the two newspapers said.
The investigators found, during the searches carried out in 13 places distributed over five regional States, “knives”, “crossbows”, “grenades”, but also a “shotgun” and a “pistol”. Arrested Friday as part of a comprehensive counterterrorism investigation, the twelve right-wing extremists were detained on Saturday.
Four of them are suspected of having formed “an extreme right association of a terrorist nature”, according to the prosecution, while the other eight are suspected of having provided them with “financial” support or “assistance in obtaining weapons “.
A series of far-right terrorist acts
Among the suspects, all of German nationality, is a police officer from North Rhine-Westphalia who has been suspended. According to Bild, his goal was to “start a civil war” in the country.
German authorities have been concerned about far-right terrorism since the murder of a pro-migrant German elected member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party last June.
In October, a right-wing extremist negationist had attempted to carry out an attack in a synagogue in Halle and the massacre had been narrowly avoided. Unable to enter the religious building where the faithful had barricaded himself, he had shot a passerby and the client of a restaurant of kebab sandwiches, broadcasting the images live on the internet. His trial is expected soon.
In Dresden, in the former GDR, eight neo-Nazis have also been on trial for almost five months for planning attacks against foreigners and politicians.