Elham Asaad Buaras
German police have arrested three men and a woman suspected of setting up a new right-wing extremist group, the Old School Society, with the aim of carrying out bomb attacks on mosques, Salafist Muslims and shelters for asylum-seekers.
Andreas H, 56, Markus W, 39, Denise Vanessa, 22, and Olaf Germanauthorities, 47, were held on terrorism charges.
The four are also accused of having procured explosives during raids on homes in Saxony and four other states.
“Investigations show the group’s goal was to carry out attacks in Germany in small groups against notable Salafists, mosques and asylum-seekers’ shelters,” announced the public prosecutors’ office on May 6.
“To this end, from what we know so far the four people detained obtained explosives for possible terrorist attacks by the group,” said prosecutors, adding that it was not yet clear whether they “already had specific targets or dates in mind”.
German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, said the Old School Society appeared to be a newly-formed group.
“We are very glad that it hopefully has been nipped in the bud – everything else will be shown by the investigation,” de Maiziere said.
Right-wing extremists have been a renewed focus for German intelligence agencies after it came to light that eo-Nazi group National Socialist Underground, allegedly killed eight Turks, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007.
It is also believed to be behind two bombings and 15 bank robberies.
Two members committed suicide after a bank robbery and a third suspect, Beate Zschaepe, is now on trial.
Figures released by the interior ministry exposed a high increase of 22.9 per cent in violent crimes by right-wing extremists in 2014 to 1,029 – including 175 attacks on refugee homes, three times the number in 2013.
“Increasingly, asylum seekers and refugee homes are being targeted. This development is worrisome and must be stopped,” de Maiziere said in presenting the report