• Germany's news in English
Neo-Nazis in dock over plan to bomb refugees
The accused in the dock with their lawyers. Photo: DPA

Neo-Nazis in dock over plan to bomb refugees

AFP · 28 Apr 2016, 08:29

Published: 28 Apr 2016 08:29 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The four suspects - three men and a 23-year-old woman identified as Denise Vanessa G. - were arrested last May, two days before they allegedly planned to strike at a migrant shelter in the eastern state of Saxony.

Their choice of weapon was modified "pyrotechnic explosives, particularly in the form of fire and nail bombs", which they were planning to hurl into a refugee home, said the prosecutor.

The group had therefore "accepted that people could be killed," chief prosecutor Joern Hauschild told the court.

In the dock on Wednesday, co-accused Andreas Thomas H., 57, looked on with a smile, while the heavily tattooed Markus W., 30, glanced around the room mockingly.

The four suspects, who also included 38-year-old Olaf O., met through the Internet in 2014.

In preparation for the attacks, they bought large quantities of banned fireworks from the Czech Republic and subsequently decided to cover the explosives with a layer of nails to make them more lethal.

Hauschild described their plan for the Saxony attack as very concrete, adding that the authorities had learned the details from chat logs and phone intercepts.

The prosecutor added that the neo-Nazi group had between 10 and 15 members, with investigations still ongoing against other suspects.

Group emblems published on media websites feature Germanic runes popular in the neo-Nazi scene, bloody hatchets and skulls with the slogan: "One bullet is not enough."

Amateur videos posted on YouTube and attributed to the group also use racist and xenophobic slurs in appeals for new recruits.

Rise in far-right attacks

A record influx of asylum seekers to Germany has fuelled a sharp rise in the number of far-right attacks, with Saxony state gaining special notoriety for such violence.

The number of extreme-right crimes, including assaults against asylum seekers and arson at refugee homes, tripled to 784 cases last year in Saxony compared to 235 in 2014, official data showed.

Germany's domestic security agency also noted that the number of violent far-right activists in the former communist state has soared to 1,300 in 2015 from 300 the previous year.

Last week, an elite anti-terror unit also arrested five suspects accused of belonging to an extremist organisation called the Freital Group, named after a town in Saxony where the female defendant in the Old School Society case was born.

Story continues below…

Prosecutors say the Freital Group aimed to "carry out explosives attacks on homes for asylum seekers as well as the homes of political enemies".

Like the Old School Society, the suspects stockpiled fireworks from the Czech Republic to use in attacks.

The group allegedly carried out at least three attacks.

In the first, fireworks were used to blow out the windows of the kitchen of a refugee shelter in Freital in September 2015, while the other involved hurling fireworks and stones at a building housing leftist activists.

Prosecutors said that the cell also attacked another refugee shelter in Freital in November last year, where a resident suffered cuts to his face from flying glass.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd