6 arrested for allegedly forming right-wing terror cell in Germany, planning armed attack on foreigners

Anti-racism group says violent protests in Chemnitz may have been motivation.

The men, who are between the ages of 20 and 30, are associated with what the prosecutor's office calls the “skinhead, hooligan and neo-Nazi” scene near the city of Chemnitz, according to the statement. A seventh man involved in founding the group was arrested last month.

Five of the detained men allegedly attacked and injured foreign-born residents of Germany with glass bottles and an electroshock weapon on Sept. 14 in Chemnitz, according to the statement. One of the victims sustained injuries from a glass bottle thrown at his head.

The Sept. 14 incident was supposed to be a “test run” for a planned attack on Oct. 3, according to authorities.

The region of Saxony, where Chemnitz is located, is a stronghold for an anti-Islam, far-right party, the Alternative for Deutschland, and has long struggled with neo-Nazi aggression.

Chemnitz made headlines in late August after a violent string of xenophobically motivated protests where up to 6,000 right-wing demonstrators took to the streets with neo-Nazis, harassing people who looked foreign and shouting slurs. Authorities have since opened 10 cases on extremists allegedly seen doing a Nazi salute, which is illegal in Germany.

“In the context of the kind of mobilization we saw in Chemnitz, there is always the danger that right-wing extremist terror cells will form in this atmosphere” Kira Ayyadi of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation told ABC.

She added that such demonstrations give people on the far right an opportunity to “network”.

“The alleged terror cell in Chemnitz shows once again the extent to which racist radicalization can take place in a short amount of time,” Ayyadi said.