Germany hunting 27 from far right, some accused of violence: report

BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin police are hunting for 27 suspected “far-right extremists”, including four accused of involvement in violent acts, the German newspaper Tagesspiegel reported.

The paper, quoting information provided by Berlin’s interior state secretary to a Green lawmaker, said there were 36 separate arrest warrants for the 27 missing suspects, of whom 20 had their last known residence in Berlin.

It said one of the four violent acts was politically motivated, but other crimes they were accused of were not political. The state secretary’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

It was not immediately clear if the warrants, reported in the newspaper’s Friday’s editions, were linked to police searches of a dozen homes in six German states on Wednesday as part of an investigation into a far-right group suspected of planning attacks against police, Jews and asylum seekers.

Authorities found weapons, munitions and explosives during those raids, the chief federal prosecutor’s office said.

One of two people detained on Wednesday was formally arrested on Thursday on suspicion of having violated German weapons and explosives laws, the prosecutor’s office said.

The man, a 51-year-old German citizen identified only as Thiemo B., remains under investigation, accused of having worked with others to create a new ultra-right terrorist group, it said.

German officials said the raids were a sign of the government’s determination to crack down on growing numbers of increasingly violent ultra rightists across the country.

The number of outstanding arrest warrants has declined sharply since late 2016, when authorities had 60 outstanding arrest warrants for 50 far-right suspects, Tagesspiegel reported.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Alison Williams