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Germany bans neo-Nazi group 'Wolf Brigade 44,' raids members' homes

By Clyde Hughes   |   Dec. 1, 2020 at 10:37 AM
Police raided several homes in Germany on Tuesday, where they said they found weapons and Nazi symbolism belonging to the right-wing group.  File Photo by Sascha Steinbach/EPA-EFE

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The German government on Tuesday formally barred a neo-Nazi group, which it said is attempting to re-establish a national socialist state -- by violent means, if necessary.

German interior minister Horst Seehofer announced the ban against the group, known as Wolf Brigade 44 or Wolfsbrgade 44.

Prosecutors have previously said it's the group's goal to re-strengthen "a free fatherland" under "Germanic moral law."

"Anyone who fights against the basic values of our liberal society will feel the decisive reaction of our constitutional democracy," Steve Alter, a spokesman for Seehofer, wrote in a tweet.

Authorities also said police have raided the homes of nearly a dozen group members in the states of Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The interior ministry said police sought in the raids to confiscate group assets and right-wing extremist propaganda. Officials said police found weapons and Nazi symbolism in the operation.

Officials say Wolf Brigade 44 has existed for at least four years and was formerly known as Storm Brigade 44.

German Green Party lawmaker Cem Ozdemir has similarly urged the government to ban another known as the Turkish Gray Wolves, which he said is the largest right-wing extremist organization in Germany. It's believed to have as many as 20,000 members.

Ozdemir said the Gray Wolves are connected to hundreds of deaths in Turkey.

"They also threaten members of the Turkish opposition and minorities in Germany," he said last month.