Prosecutors say the suspects, on police radar for months, wanted to achieve their goal "with as yet-unspecified attacks against politicians, asylum-seekers and Muslims to provoke a civil war-like situation."

Far-right groups demonstrate following the 75th anniversary of the WW2 bombings in Dresden, Germany, February 15, 2020.
Far-right groups demonstrate following the 75th anniversary of the WW2 bombings in Dresden, Germany, February 15, 2020. (Reuters)

German federal prosecutors won a court order to detain 12 men arrested on suspicion of involvement in a far-right plot to overthrow the political order by means of targeted attacks on politicians, asylum seekers, and Muslims. 

The men were arrested on Friday, four on suspicion of forming a right-wing terrorist organisation last September and the rest of offering them financial support.

German prosecutors alleged the suspects wanted to achieve their goal "with as yet-unspecified attacks against politicians, asylum-seekers and Muslims to provoke a civil war-like situation."

A federal court judge ordered them detained pending further investigations on Saturday, prosecutors said.

Bomb stores busted 

Popular support for far-right groups is growing in Germany, notably in the country's former Communist east, as part of a polarisation at both ends of the political spectrum that is undermining the mainstream establishment that been in government since World War Two.

The men, aged between 20 and 50, named their group 'Der harte Kern' (The Hard Core), the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday, saying they had been arrested in six different states.

It reported Sunday the group had links to a white supremacist group called Soldiers of Odin, founded in Finland in 2015.

The suspects, some with blankets draped over their heads, were escorted by police wearing balaclavas and body armour into the Federal Court in Karlsruhe for Saturday's hearing, Reuters TV footage showed.

Citing investigators, Welt am Sonntag said the men had got to know each other via WhatsApp, a messaging service owned by Facebook, and met up subsequently. The group was put under surveillance in late summer 2019.

In the raids, investigators found stores of materials that could be used to produce home-made bombs, the newspaper wrote.

No further comment was immediately available from federal prosecutors.

Threat of far-right militancy

Der Spiegel reported that one of those detained a 53-year-old Werner S from the Augsburg region was classified by the German security services as a potential violent threat.

The man, whose surname wasn't released for privacy reasons, was among the men detained for supporting a "right-wing terrorist organisation."

German law allows for individuals suspected of being on the verge of committing serious offences to be detained for up to six months, extendable to 12 months in extreme cases, according to legal experts.

Authorities in Germany have warned of the growing threat of far-right militancy. 

Last June, a regional official from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party was killed by a suspected neo-Nazi. In October, a gunman with anti-Semitic views attacked a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle, killing two passers-by.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies