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Germany

Neo-Nazi Terror Trial Begins

On Monday, 12 teenagers went on trial in Potsdam charged with xenophobic attacks on businesses owned by foreigners. For the first time, prosecutors are charging a group of neo-Nazis with being part of a terrorist organization. The youths, all between 14 and 18 years of age, are accused of carrying out violent attacks between August 2003 and May 2004 on snack bars owned by foreigners in the Havelland region of Brandenburg. According to the prosecution, the group formed in the summer of 2003 with the goal of destroying the financial livelihoods of foreigners in the area and thereby driving them out. Estimates put the damages from the various attacks at more than €600,000 ($803,000). Prosecutors have announced they will call 60 witnesses and three experts during the trial, which is expected to run until the middle of February. A conviction of membership in a terrorist organization carries a penalty between one and 10 years in prison.

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