German police investigating ‘neo-Nazi terror plot’ after bomb branded with swastika discovered

The suspects are believed to support a group that planned attacks on refugee centres and mosques

Alleged plot comes after right-wing extremists attacked police in Germany
Alleged plot comes after right-wing extremists attacked police in Germany

Two alleged supporters of a neo-Nazi terrorist group have been arrested after 155kg of explosives were discovered in Germany.

One suspect had built a homemade bomb emblazoned with a swastika and symbol of the Nazi SS, prosecutors announced on Saturday.

The men, aged 18 and 24, were arrested after the explosives were discovered inside a house in Lauterecken, causing more than 80 local residents to be evacuated from the surrounding area so the material could be safely removed.

Numerous weapons and items with banned Nazi symbols were found in the raids related to a separate neo-Nazi plot in Bamberg 

The pair denied planning a terror attack when they were arrested in December, SWR television reported, claiming to be amateur pyrotechnics preparing for a New Year’s Eve firework display.

The two men, of German origin, are being held on suspicion of violating explosives laws and preparing a “serious act of state-threatening violence”.

Prosecutors are examining a possible link to the Oldschool Society (OSS), an extremist organisation known to have planned attacks on refugee centres and mosques since it emerged in 2014.

A spokesperson said the teenage suspect told investigators he had attended an OSS meeting in Rhineland-Palatinate state over the summer, the DPA news agency reported.

Four members of the group are already on trial in Munich for allegedly planning an attack on asylum seekers.

Federal prosecutors charged the three men and a woman with “establishing a terror organisation” and preparing attacks using explosives in January 2015.

Officials said members had planned to bomb refugee accommodation in the German town of Borna, and travelled to the Czech Republic to buy pyrotechnics which they planned to make into bombs packed with nails and fuel.

The interior ministry has classified the OSS as a dangerous organisation but it was also dubbed the “stupidest terror group in Germany” by media reporting that members discussed plots openly on Facebook.

A rise in extremism has been documented in Germany since the start of the refugee crisis and a series of terror attacks, with far-right groups including Pegida staging protests against immigration and the “Islamification of Europe”.

Numerous attacks on refugee centres have been documented as part of a rise in political violence by both the right and left wing.

German security services also remain on alert for possible Isis-inspired terror attacks following the massacre at a Berlin Christmas market and two previous attacks over the summer.

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