BYOBomb: German anti-migrant bomb plot defused

Published January 17th, 2016 - 05:30 GMT
Police patrol the streets of Cologne after numerous alleged New Year's attacks. (File photo)
Police patrol the streets of Cologne after numerous alleged New Year's attacks. (File photo)

A group of neo-Nazis calling themselves the Oldschool Society are to stand trial over an alleged plot to kill asylum seekers and Muslims with DIY bombs.

The three German men and a woman, aged between 23 and 57, have been charged with planning arson and nail-bomb attacks in May last year. 

The prosecution was announced as a former judge with Germany's Constitutional Court said that Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to allow a million refugees into the country was illegal.

'Going it alone was an act of self-empowerment,' said Michael Bertrams, president of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's constitutional court from 1994 to 2013.

'Merkel's policy of opening Germany's doors to refugees was full of empathy but lacking in a plan.'

His attack came as tensions continue to rise across the country in the wake of the Cologne sexual frenzy on New Year's Eve where rampaging mobs of asylum seekers assaulted and robbed around 500 women. Attacks also took place in other cities.

It was against the backdrop of the perceived 'flood' of refugees that led to the formation of the Oldschool Society.  

The four were arrested in May last year after a police surveillance operation, just days before they allegedly plotted to detonate their first device.

'They are united by a right-oriented nationalistic worldview', prosecutors said in a statement.

After meeting online, the four organised themselves into a command structure led by a 'president' and 'vice-president'. 

One acted as treasurer who gathered money contributions and a 'spokesman' who posted collective messages online.

'At a first meeting of the group in mid-November 2014, it was discussed how to manufacture explosives as well as attacks against Salafists (ultra-conservative Islamists) and asylum seekers,' the statement said. 

'While in their public communications, the group stuck to unremarkable right-wing politics. They were planning violence in private.

'Concretely, the plan was to commit an explosive attack against an inhabited refugee accommodation centre.' 

They bought large amounts of industrial-grade fireworks in Czech Republic and intended to coat them in glue and cover them with nails to make lethal shrapnel bombs.

The group was arrested on May 6 in a huge operation by police special response units. Their trial will take place in Munich.

Meanwhile, in Cologne, five people are in custody and a further eight are being questioned as squads of police deal with 581 criminal complaints from New Year's Eve.

A Libyan refugee, identified as Muhammed A, had his apartment searched by police this week where they found the mobile telephone of a woman attacked in Cologne railway station on December 31.

By Allan Hall

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