German police staged dawn raids Wednesday against right-wing extremists accused of operating a neo-Nazi Internet radio station to whip up anti-foreigner sentiment among young supporters.
Authorities swooped in 10 of Germany’s 16 states on 22 homes with alleged links to “Radio Resistance”, which features “racist and National Socialist” commentary and music from skinhead bands, the Federal Crime Office (BKA) said.
“The 23 suspects aged between 20 and 37 from across the country are believed to have acted as administrators and hosts” of programmes on the station, the BKA said in a statement.
Twenty-one of the suspects were arrested on charges of forming a criminal organisation, inciting racial hatred and other offences.
About 270 police officers confiscated computers, hard drives and mobile telephones and objects suspected of violating weapons laws.
The station, known as “Widerstand-Radio” in German, had operated 24 hours per day and had listeners round the world via the Internet.
“Recently we have observed clear trends toward modernisation of advertising and mobilisation strategies among right-wing extremist groups,” BKA president Joerg Ziercke said.
“That includes using music in a targeted way to reach youths and young adults and recruit them to the far-right scene.”
Germany’s federal police have recently cracked down on the distribution of far-right music on the Internet, with probes again online auction and file-swapping sites.
© 2010 AFP