German police arrest neo-Nazi supporters | News | DW | 13.03.2012
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German police arrest neo-Nazi supporters

German police raided over 30 homes across four states on Tuesday in a crackdown on far-right extremists and neo-Nazi supporters. More than 20 people were arrested in the dawn swoops.

Police said they had arrested 24 people in Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg states.

The investigation was focused on the banned group "Aktionsbüro Mittelrhein," as well as on members of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).

"Nineteen of the accused were arrested for membership of a criminal organization, three for supporting a criminal organization and two for participating in a serious breach of the peace," the prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, the "Aktionsbüro Mittelrhein" gathered information about political opponents and then "outed" them publicly in a bid to intimidate them.

"All participants were aware that a climate of hate was being created and fears were being stoked," the statement added.

"Another area of activity was the openly violent acts against members of the left-wing scene, both locally and further afield," added the prosecutors.

Investigators said there were no known connections between those detained and the neo-Nazi cell National Socialist Underground, which was believed to have been behind the murder of 10 people, mostly of Turkish origin, in a case that shocked the nation.

dfm/rc (AFP, dpa)