German arrests over 'terror' plot

Police standing guard outside a school where refugees have barricaded themselves inside in Berlin in Germany on 25 June 2014 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police arrested three men and one woman said to be part of a far-right group called "Old Schools Society"

German police have arrested four people suspected of plotting to attack Muslims and asylum seekers.

Prosecutors said that three men and one woman were accused of founding a far-right group and procuring explosives.

They added that a previously unknown group, the "Old Schools Society", had been planning to attack mosques and hostels for asylum seekers.

The suspects were arrested in raids across five German states involving some 250 investigators.

"In the search, pyrotechnics with large explosive power and further pieces of evidence were confiscated," said the prosecutor's office in a statement.


The number of people seeking asylum in Germany has risen dramatically in the past year, with more than 200,000 applications in 2014 alone.

On Tuesday, the government said it expected the number to climb as high as 400,000 this year.

Searches were conducted in Bavaria, Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Prosecutors added that they were still trying to determine whether the group had concrete targets or dates for attacks.

The suspects are to be brought before the investigating judge of the Federal Court on Thursday, reports say.

The suspected head of the group was from the Bavarian city of Augsburg, according to German media. Its 39-year-old vice president was believed to be from the eastern state of Saxony.

Tensions over immigration have risen in recent months, particularly in Saxony.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Anti-immigrant graffiti suggested a far-right link to fires in Bavaria last year

Thousands of people attended marches in Dresden earlier this year under the banner of anti-Islamisation group, Pegida. However, support for the group has since fallen amid splits in its leadership.

Asylum seekers have become a common target for extremist attacks:

  • Asylum-seeker accommodation in Rhineland-Palatinate was set ablaze by suspected far-right activists in the early hours of Wednesday
  • A renovated building in Troeglitz in Saxony was set on fire in April before it could house asylum seekers
  • Arsonists in the Bavarian town of Vorra daubed swastikas on walls and set fire to three buildings intended for asylum seekers in December 2014

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