۱۹ تیر ۱۳۹۹ | Jul 9, 2020
German far-right arrests reveal ‘shocking’ attack plot on mosques

Twelve members of the group were arrested during raids by security forces on 13 locations in six German states on Friday.

Hawzah News Agency (Berlin, Germany) - The newly arrested members of a German far-right group are believed to have been plotting “shocking” large-scale attacks on mosques in Germany similar to the deadly ones carried out in New Zealand last year, a government official says.

Twelve members of the group were arrested during raids by security forces on 13 locations in six German states on Friday.

According to officials, investigations into the arrests have indicated that the group was planning to conduct simultaneous mass-casualty attacks on Muslims during prayers just like those in New Zealand.

“It's shocking what has been revealed here, that there are cells here that appear to have become radicalized in such a short space of time,” said Germany’s Interior Ministry Spokesman Bjoern Gruenewaelder at a press conference in Berlin on Monday.

In mid-March last year, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, a self-proclaimed white supremacist Australian national, massacred 51 Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand, using semi-automatic weapons.

He stood trial at the Christchurch High Court on 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and engaging in a terrorist act in the city, which is home to about 400,000 people and has a significant Muslim community.

Separately on Monday, Steffen Seibert, spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, commented on the issue.

“It is the task of the state, and of course of this government, to protect free practice of religion in this country, with no reference to what religion it might be.”

He added that anyone in the European country “practicing their religion … within our legal order should be able to do so without being endangered or threatened.”

Media reports in Germany revealed that the outfit planned to employ semi-automatic weapons to copy Tarrant’s attacks in Christchurch.

Officials say the alleged ring leader of the far-right group, which was known to the authorities and whose meetings and chats had been under police surveillance, had detailed his plans at a meeting organized with his accomplices last week.

According to German prosecutors, security forces launched the raids early morning on Friday to determine whether members of the group already had weapons or other supplies that could be used in an attack.

Police currently have listed 53 “dangerous” people belonging to the extreme right that could launch a violent attack, Der Spiegel reported.

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