Police in Germany have arrested another soldier for his suspected involvement in a far-right plot to assassinate politicians who do not oppose immigration.
The federal public prosecutor said Maximilian T., a 27-year-old German national, had been detained on Wednesday.
“The accused is strongly suspected of planning a severe act of violence against the state out of a right-wing extremist conviction,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Maximilian is the third suspect to have been arrested over the plot, which also involved an army officer and a student, identified respectively as Franco A. and Mathias F., who were detained on April 26.
According to the prosecutors, the trio wanted to commit terrorist attacks and blame them on refugees. Franco A. had registered as a Syrian refugee using a fake identity and had moved into a shelter for refugees in Bavaria.
The list of possible targets prepared by the three suspects included former president Joachim Gauck and Justice Minister Heiko Maas. The statement added that the three wanted to make their assault look like the work of extremist militants.
Over the past months, Germany has reportedly witnessed a rise in hate crimes against refugees and Muslims. Far-right groups have been vehemently opposed to the entry of refugees into Germany.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, an early supporter of an open-doors policy toward asylum seekers, has recently toned down her advocacy for such a policy, apparently under pressure from the opposition. But overall, far-right opposition to immigration has failed to gain traction at the government level in major European powers. Marine Le Pen, a high-profile representative of such an ideology in France, recently lost by a wide margin to her rival in the French presidential election.
Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II. Refugees are arriving in Europe, including in Germany, mainly from violence-torn states in the Middle East and Africa.
Many blame major European powers for the unprecedented exodus of local populations, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in the violence-hit regions, forcing more people out of their homes.—Agencies