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CRIME

‘Anti-fascist’ mob rampages in Leipzig

A mass of 600 people stormed through central Leipzig on Thursday evening, attacking local government buildings, smashing shop windows, destroying police vehicles and spray painting anti-fasacist slogans along the way.

'Anti-fascist' mob rampages in Leipzig
Police line up participants in the violent outburst against a wall. Photo: DPA

Police reported that the group gathered at the state court and grew in numbers as they moved towards Augustusplatz, the largest square in the city.

Police later found large numbers of graffiti slogans including “it was murder” (possibly a reference to the violent death of an Eritrean asylum seeker in Dresden on Monday), “Stop Pegida”, “ANTIFA” (anti-fascists) and “stop deportations".

Along the route, members smashed storefronts, including a hairdresser and a bank, ripped up traffic signs from the pavement and threw them onto the street, and let off fireworks and smoke bombs.

When police patrol cars approached, hooded people began throwing rocks at them.

The mob continued towards Roßplatz, smashing more businesses, before moving to the city court where they smashed 40 windows.

Police reported that a large group were stopped when the group reached Karl-Liebknecht Straße. Only three were arrested, while officers recorded the details of the remaining 204.

Officers are investigating many of them for serious breach of the peace.

Three police cars were seriously damaged, including one which had all of its windows completely smashed.

A Leipzig police spokesman told The Local that his fellow officers were still accounting for all the damage done by the mob.

CRIME

German police foil teenage school ‘Nazi attack’

German investigators said Thursday they foiled a school bomb attack, as they arrested a 16-year-old who is suspected to have been planning a "Nazi terror attack".

German police foil teenage school 'Nazi attack'

“The police prevented a nightmare,” said Herbert Reul, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) state.

Police in the city of Essen had stormed the teen’s room overnight, taking him into custody and uncovering 16 “pipe bombs”, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim material.

Some of the pipe bombs found contained nails, but officers did not find any detonators, Reul said.

There are “indications suggesting the young man has serious psychiatric problems and suicidal thoughts,” said Reul.

Material found so far in the suspect’s room include his own writing which constituted “a call for urgent help by a desperate young man.”

The suspect was allegedly planning to target his current school or another where he studied previously.

“All democrats have a common task to fight against racism, brutalisation and hate,” said NRW’s deputy premier Joachim Stamp, as he thanked police for “preventing a suspected Nazi terror attack”.

The suspect is being questioned while investigators continue to comb his home for evidence.

Investigators believe that he was acting alone.

They had been tipped off by another teen who informed them that the young man “wanted to place bombs in his school”, located about 800 metres from his home.

The school, as well as another institution, were closed on Thursday as investigators undertook fingertip searches as the locations to ensure that no bombs had been placed on site.

‘Neo-Nazi networks’ 

Germany has been rocked by several far-right assaults in recent years, sparking accusations that the government was not doing enough to stamp out neo-Nazi violence.

In February 2020 a far-right extremist shot dead 10 people and wounded five others in the central German city of Hanau.

Large amounts of material championing conspiracy theories and far-right ideology were subsequently found in the gunman’s apartment.

And in 2019, two people were killed after a neo-Nazi tried to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

Germany’s centre-left-led government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz took office in December pledging a decisive fight against far-right militants and investigators in April carried out country-wide raids against “neo-Nazi networks”, arresting four suspects.

The suspects targeted in the raids were believed to belong to the far-right martial arts group Knockout 51, the banned Combat 18 group named after theorder in the alphabet of Adolf Hitler’s initials, US-based Atomwaffen (Atomic) Division or the online propaganda group Sonderkommando 1418.

German authorities were also battling to clean extremists from within their ranks. Last year, the state of Hesse said it was dissolving Frankfurt’s elite police force after several officers were accused of participating in far-right online chats and swapping neo-Nazi symbols.

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