German police identify suspect in neo-Nazi threats probe | News | DW | 05.04.2019
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German police identify suspect in neo-Nazi threats probe

For months, German authorities have been investigating the source of more than 200 right-wing extremist emails that were sent to institutions across the country. Now police say they have a suspect.

Police said Friday they were investigating a suspect in connection with dozens of right-wing extremist emails and bomb threats sent across Germany in recent months.

The announcement came after detectives said they had seized evidence in a raid on the man's apartment near the northern city of Hamburg.

They allege the suspect had written various emails threatening courts and other institutions in the states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Baden-Württemberg and Brandenburg.

Read moreOpinion: Neo-Nazis in Germany's police — put out the fire

Some of the messages were signed off with neo-Nazi references such as "National Socialist Offensive," "NSU 2.0" — short for far-right terror group the National Socialist Underground — and "Wehrmacht," the name of Nazi Germany's military.

Watch video 42:34

Germany's right-wing terror network: NSU on trial

Bomb threats prompt evacuations

Police did not release any details about the suspect's identity and did not formally arrest him, but they said he could face offenses including disturbing public peace.

Public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk reported that the suspect was a German citizen in his early 30s who was known to authorities. The broadcaster also said it was not clear whether he was fit to be questioned, as he was believed to be mentally unstable and under police guard in hospital.

Read moreGerman state probes Frankfurt police extremist network

A series of bomb threats in recent weeks prompted the evacuation of several town halls, a tax office, a train station and a kindergarten. Experts found no trace of explosives at any of the locations.

One email to Left Party lawmaker Martina Renner threatened to bomb banks and railway stations throughout Germany and to "execute citizens on the streets." Other messages targeted journalists, lawyers, celebrities and courts.

Police said they had yet to determine whether the suspect could have been behind the entire stash of more than 200 messages sent since April 2018. Many of the emails were sent from different accounts but had similar writing styles. 

nm/msh (AFP, epd, dpa)

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