Published on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 11:54 Written by Deutsche Welle
Police in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia conducted coordinated raids on alleged right-wing extremists early Wednesday, including the offices of a regional far-right political party.
Authorities searched 20 apartments and offices belonging to people linked to the far-right scene in the cities of Dusseldorf, Essen, Wuppertal and the small town of Radevormwald, reportedly making three arrests. State prosecutors and police in Cologne announced the raids.
A spokesman said the searches were focused on leaders of a group called Freundeskreis Rade (Rade Circle of Friends), an allegedly neo-Nazi group that prosecutors say has been attempting to build a criminal network.
Prosecutors said the group was suspected of "significant crimes" including the use of violence.
The raids also included a search of the offices of the small far-right party Pro NRW in Radevormwald. The party is fielding a slate of candidates in the upcoming state elections next month and is running on an anti-Islam platform.
The criminal potential of the far-right in Germany has been in the spotlight since authorities last year uncovered a neo-Nazi cell suspected of at least 10 murders and multiple bank robberies. The cell was able to evade authorities for more than a decade.
Credit: Deutsche Welle