Europe

Germany probes 'neo-Nazi' email threats

Martina Renner of Die Linke, 3 Jul 14 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Left-wing MP Martina Renner got an email warning of "executions" in the streets

German prosecutors are investigating more than 100 threatening emails sent to politicians, lawyers, a pop singer and others, apparently from neo-Nazis.

The anonymous emails are signed "National-Socialist Offensive", "NSU 2.0" or "Wehrmacht" - suggesting one or more neo-Nazis sent them.

Left-wing MP Martina Renner and pop singer Helene Fischer were targeted.

The language of the emails is similar. Some were bomb threats, which prompted police searches in two cities.

Those threats triggered evacuations of the main railway station in Lübeck on Monday and of the public finance offices in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, but no bombs were found, German media report.

Last September Helene Fischer condemned far-right hate speech at a concert in Chemnitz, soon after far-right groups had marched in the eastern city and clashed with police there.

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Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Helene Fischer - a star of German "Schlager" pop - was reportedly targeted

The German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that MP Martina Renner of left-wing party Die Linke received an email on Tuesday that threatened letter bombs and "executions in the street", and was signed "National-Socialist Offensive".

National Socialism was the ideology of Adolf Hitler, whose army in World War Two was called the Wehrmacht. "NSU 2.0" refers to the outlawed National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi terror group found to have committed 10 racially-motivated murders.

The only surviving member of an NSU cell, Beate Zschäpe, was found guilty in that murder case last July.

Many of the threatening emails were apparently posted in Berlin, so the investigation is being led by Berlin state prosecutors.

Threats of violence can be prosecuted under laws against incitement, blackmail or disturbance of the peace.

Among those who received bomb threats were Germany's Central Council of Jews, high courts in Bamberg and Munich, the chief prosecutor's office in Frankfurt and Hamburg airport.

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