German police raid homes of 17 people accused of antisemitic hate speech

German authorities raid the homes of 17 people in the state of Bavaria accused of spreading antisemitic hate speech and threats targeting Jews online.

According to the Bavarian criminal police, the suspects are 15 men and two women, aged between 18 and 62, German news agency dpa reports. Police questioned the suspects and confiscated evidence from their homes, including cellphones and laptops, the agency says.

The suspects are said to have celebrated the attack by Hamas on Israel on Oct. 7, and are accused of spreading hate speech against Jewish people on social media, using symbols of banned terrorist organizations, dpa reports.

One suspect allegedly sent a sticker in a WhatsApp school class chat showing a clown with the words “Gas the Jews.” Another person allegedly posted on his account that “the Jewish sons” deserved nothing more than to be “exterminated,” dpa reports.

Another suspect is accused of posting a picture of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler shortly after the Oct. 7 attacks with the caption “I could kill all the Jews, but I left some alive to show you why I killed them.” Next to it, he posted a Palestinian flag, the caption “Free Palestine” and an emoji with a victory sign.

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