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German prosecutors drop probe of far-right ‘KKK’ group

Illustrative: Members of the National Socialists Movement and the White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan salute during a rally April 21, 2012, at the Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. (AP Photo/John Flavell)
Illustrative: Members of the National Socialists Movement and the White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan salute during a rally April 21, 2012, at the Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. (AP Photo/John Flavell)

German prosecutors say that they have closed an investigation of people suspected of founding a far-right group calling itself the National Socialist Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Deutschland.

Stuttgart prosecutors say that they were unable to establish with sufficient certainty after more than three years that the group’s aim was to commit crimes, German news agency dpa reports. Fifty-seven people had been under investigation.

In January 2019, authorities conducted raids on suspected members in several parts of Germany and seized more than 100 weapons, including air guns, swords, machetes and knives. They said at the time that the people under investigation were suspected of glorifying Nazism and, in some cases, of harboring “violent fantasies.”

Although prosecutors have dropped the main investigation into the suspected founding of a criminal organization, 23 people remain under investigation for suspected violations of weapons and drug laws, and for incitement. It was not clear whether the alleged group is still active.

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