Berlin – German police arrested a 21-year-old man and launched a terrorism investigation after he threatened to carry out attacks targeting Muslims, prosecutors said on Monday.
The 21-year-old man from the city of Hildesheim in northern Germany made a threat in an anonymous online chat forum on May 29. He stated his intention to carry out attacks to kill many people, prosecutors in the city of Celle said in a statement.
The right-wing extremist refers to a mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019, which killed 51 people. The right-hand extremist suspect now arrested by police said he wanted to carry out a similar attack in Germany.
“The aim is to kill Muslim citizens,” prosecutors said.
The man is believed to be planning attacks with mass casualties to attract media attention around the world, as happened in Christchurch.
During the raid in his apartment, police found a weapon that “might have been purchased to carry out an attack” and seized a computer containing data with extreme right content.
The suspect was arrested last Saturday (6/6) and now faces a series of accusations including planning criminal acts, disturbing peace and financing terrorism.
Over the past year, Germany has experienced several deadly right-wing extremist attacks. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer called right-wing terrorism “the greatest threat to democracy in Germany.”
Last February, a gunman shot nine people in the city of Hanau in an attack targeting a hookah bar.
In October last year, a gunman killed two people in an attack targeting a synagogue in the city of Halle.
One year ago, high-ranking Kassel city official Walter Lbcke was shot dead on the porch of his home by a neo-Nazi supporter who claimed to hate the victims for supporting pro-refugee politics, Chancellor Angela Merkel. The culprit is currently undergoing a court hearing.