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Germany: 4 arrests in alleged plot to attack Islamic targets

Female Afghan students from the Balkh university in Mazar-i-Sharif visit the memorial to fallen German soldiers on May 5, 2015 at the Defence Ministry in Berlin. AFP PHOTO / DPA / WOLFGANG KUMM/ GERMANY OUT

BERLIN: German authorities conducted raids across the country Wednesday, seizing explosives and arresting four people accused of founding a right-wing extremist group to attack mosques and housing for asylum seekers.

Police arrested three men and a woman accused of leading the group during raids by some 250 investigators on homes in Saxony and four other states, the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Prosecutors allege the four helped found the "Old School Society" group and were planning to attack asylum-seeker housing, mosques and well-known members of the Islamic-extremist Salafist scene in Germany.

The four arrested, identified only as Andreas H., 56, Markus W., 39, Denise Vanessa G., 22, and Olaf O., 47, are being held on terrorism charges and are also accused of having procured explosives.

The statement identified Andreas H. and Markus W. as the group's president and vice president.

"According to current investigations, it was the group's goal to conduct attacks in smaller groups inside Germany on well-known Salafists, mosques and asylum seeker centers," the statement said. "For this purpose the four arrested procured explosives for possible terror attacks by the group."

Prosecutors said they are still trying to determine whether the group had concrete attack plans and refused to comment beyond their written statement.

 

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