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16 February 2020 - 09:57
News ID: 449081
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German police have dismantled a far-right terrorist group that was planning to attack Muslims, asylum seekers and politicians, arresting 12 suspects, including one of its own officers.

RNA - The Federal Prosecutor’s Office (GBA) said on Friday four of the suspects had founded a “terrorist organization” in September last year that aimed to “shake and eventually destroy the democratic system and social cohesion of the federal republic.”

The other eight men were arrested on suspicion of financially supporting the group and providing it with weapons, it added.

According to the prosecutors, the suspects held regular meetings and were contacting each other by phone and using messenger apps.

The GBA said, “For the purpose of creating conditions that resemble a civil war, attacks that were not yet concrete against politicians, asylum seekers and members of the Muslim faith were planned.”

The arrests followed raids on 13 locations in six German states, during which several weapons were found.

A source at the interior ministry in North-Rhine Westphalia state noted that a police officer previously suspended over suspicions he had links to the far-right was among those detained on Friday.

Germany has seen an increase in hate crimes in recent months, prompting the country to expand a crackdown on right-wing political violence in order to tackle the situation.

Citing a growing danger, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in December announced 600 new posts across the federal police and domestic security services to track far-right extremist threats.

Germany's domestic intelligence agency estimates that the country is home to about 24,100 “right wing extremists,” almost half of whom are potentially violent.

Turkey's English-language newspaper Daily Sabah reported that the recent increase in hateful attacks and threats against mosques in Germany has raised concern among the targeted communities.

The daily cited the German Deutsche Welle as saying that some mosques across Germany received bomb threats on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Thursday, Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, called for higher security precautions. "We witness such incidents almost every week," he said.

During the course of 2019, at least a mosque or a Muslim institution or a religious representative in Germany was targeted in anti-Muslim attacks every other day, according to an inquiry by Germany's Left Party (Die Linke).

Meanwhile, the German Interior Ministry under the scope of the new "Attack Catalogue" said there have been 184 anti-Muslim attacks in 2019, including hate speech, threats, assault, vandalism and property damage.

The attacks come as the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is urging the parliament to take precautions against the "spread of Islam" in Germany

The resolution submitted by the AfD was discussed in the parliament on Thursday and has drawn wide criticism from the coalition and other parties.

Ulla Jelpke of Germany's Left Party slammed the AfD, saying that Germany's alleged "Islamicization threat" was the party's favorite illusion.

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