Police raided more than 30 sites across four different states in Germany Wednesday linked to a suspected criminal gang of right-wing extremists. Most of the searches were concentrated in Brandenburg, particularly the city of Cottbus, a spokesman for state police confirmed to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Close to 20 people are suspected of forming a criminal organization linked to the football hooligan, martial arts and extreme right scene. No arrests were made, according to the spokesman.
Officials raided offices, commercial spaces and private homes. Police will now evaluate the findings of the searches. "We have problems with right-wing extremism," a spokesman for the city of Cottbus said yesterday morning. Fans from the city's Cottbus Energie football team have been linked with far-right circles in the past.
German authorities are increasingly concerned over growing right-wing terrorism in the country. The Interior Ministry said the lists were found in various police investigations and operations against far-right groups in the last seven years.
Intelligence authorities in Brandenburg believe some 400 potential far-right extremists are in the Cottbus area, with 170 in the city itself. With a population of 100,000, Cottbus is located some 130 kilometers south of the capital Berlin. Lately, Germany has been shaken by more than 100 bomb and death threats sent by neo-Nazi groups to lawyers, politicians and institutions in recent weeks, revealing the threat of a growing neo-Nazi presence in the country.
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