A man has been arrested in Germany in connection with an investigation into a neo-Nazi cell suspected of killing 10 people.The German media have identified the suspect arrested today in the eastern city of Jena as 36-year-old Ralf Wohlleben.
He has been described as an official in an extreme right group operating in Thuringia, in the east of the country, during the 1990s, reports the BBC.
He is “strongly suspected” of being an accessory to murder in six cases, as well as one attempted murder according to prosecutors.
Wohlleben is thought to have been part of a group identified as the National Socialist Underground, which attacked people of Turkish and Greek ethnicity, Euronews reports.
The group is suspected of killing eight people of Turkish origin, a Greek man and a policewoman, and is being investigated further in connection with several other possible hate crimes and a string of bank robberies.
Speaking to Der Spiegel, Manuel Bauer – a one-time neo-Nazi who turned his back on the ideology – says that the German authorities have long underestimated the danger posed by extreme right-wing groups in the country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged last week that German security services made “numerous failures” in allowing the small band of neo-Nazis to slip through their fingers and allegedly commit a string of killings over more than a decade.
“These crimes were no more and no less than an attack on our democracy,” Merkel said in a speech to the lower house of Parliament. “Our responsibility to the victims is to undertake everything possible to clear up these horrible crimes.”
Additional reporting by the AP
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