Federal authorities in Germany arrested six men Monday under suspicion of forming a far-right terror organization and attacking foreigners before and after protests which took place in Chemnitz, a city in eastern Germany. The group is thought to have been planning further attacks on politicians and civil servants.
In August, 5,000 people protested in Saxony’s third-largest city after a German man died after being stabbed in a dispute that allegedly involved immigrants. The incident led to the arrest of two young foreigners: a 23-year-old Syrian and an Iraqi, aged 22. The Iraqi has since been released. Anyone foreign-looking (read: people of color) was warned to stay indoors, away from the city center, where violence proliferated.
“Based on the information we have so far, the suspects belong to the hooligan, skinhead and neo-Nazi scene in the area of Chemnitz and considered themselves leading figures in the right-wing extremist scene in Saxony,” prosecutors said. Their organization is called Revolution Chemnitz.
The arrest warrants were issued last week and 100 police officers were involved in the operation to detain the neo-Nazis, aged between 28 and 30, in Saxony and in the southern state Bavaria. The officers raided several properties early in the morning.
Prosecutors said there were “tangible indications” the group wanted to pursue terrorist goals. They also tried to get their hands on semi-automatic rifles.
In mid-September, the organization injured one man in an attack on foreigners in Chemnitz. The group carried glass bottles, brass knuckles and a taser. At the time, the leader of the group was arrested, a 31-year-old called Christian K., whose last name is kept private under German law.
It is believed this September incident was the group’s practice run as they prepared for an attack for this Wednesday, October 3, according to local media. The third of October is known as German Unity Day, a national holiday that celebrates the reunification of the country in 1990.
Christine Coester is an editor for Handelsblatt Global. To contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org