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8 far-right German extremists charged over plan to start violent uprising

Several of the suspects allegedly involved in attack on migrant group in Chemnitz; authorities say men indicted on suspicion of forming a terrorist organization

Illustrative: Police officers patrol at a train station in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, on October 8, 2016. (AFP Photo/Jens-Ulrich Koch)
Illustrative: Police officers patrol at a train station in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, on October 8, 2016. (AFP Photo/Jens-Ulrich Koch)

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities have indicted eight far-right extremists on suspicion they planned to start a violent uprising.

Federal prosecutors said Friday that they have formally indicted the German men, aged 21 to 31, on suspicion of forming a terrorist organization.

The suspects were arrested last year in eastern Germany’s Chemnitz area. They are alleged to have formed a group calling itself “Revolution Chemnitz.”

Several of the suspects are alleged to have been involved in an attack on a group of migrants in Chemnitz on Sept. 14.

Authorities intercepted communication between the men indicating that they were trying to obtain firearms.

In this June 13, 2019 file photo a picture of Walter Luebcke stands behind his coffin during the funeral service in Kassel, Germany. (Swen Pfoertner/dpa via AP)

German officials have warned that far-right extremists pose a serious threat to the country, after a violent neo-Nazi was arrested recently on suspicion of killing a pro-migrant politician.

Walter Luebcke, who led the Kassel regional administration in central Germany, was fatally shot in the head at his home on June 2. A 45-year-old German man with a string of convictions for violent anti-migrant crime, Stephan Ernst, was later arrested as the alleged killer.

The state of Saxony, where Chemnitz is located, has been a center for resentful opposition against Chancellor Angela Merkel and her 2015 decision to keep open German borders to a mass influx of migrants and refugees.

The city was been convulsed by violent far-right, anti-immigration demonstrations last year after the killing of a German man, allegedly by asylum-seekers.

Saxony state capital Dresden has long been an iconic city for German neo-Nazis embittered by the Allies’ aerial bombing of the Baroque city center in World War II.

People attend a far-right demonstration in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, September 7, 2018 (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

The city in recent years became the birthplace of the so-called PEGIDA movement, short for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident.”

Small towns such as Heidenau and Freital have earned nationwide notoriety as neo-Nazis and angry residents have hurled abuse at people fleeing war and misery — and rocks at police sent to protect those seeking a safe haven.

Masked assailants hurled rocks and bottles at a Jewish restaurant, injuring the owner, in an apparently anti-Semitic attack last year on the sidelines of a wave of neo-Nazi protests in Chemnitz.

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