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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
German neo-Nazi threat 'rising'
Otto Schily
Schily says a new quality of neo-Nazi terror has emerged
The threat to Germany from neo-Nazis has risen to a new level, Interior Minister Otto Schily has warned.

The discovery of a suspected plot to bomb a Munich Jewish centre during a visit by the German president has "dramatically confirmed" the danger to society, he said on Monday.

At least 10 suspects were held and up to 14kg (31lb) of explosives seized in police raids last week.

Officials believe plans were being made to bomb the centre on 9 November, when its foundation stone is due to be laid at a ceremony attended by President Johannes Rau, Bavarian governor Edmund Stoiber and Jewish leader Paul Spiegel.

The suspected attack would have coincided with the anniversary of the Nazis' 1938 Kristallnacht attacks, when thousands of Jewish targets were attacked and dozens murdered.

There have been hints that right extremists are really a great potential danger for our society... this has now been dramatically confirmed
Otto Schily
German Interior Minister
"One could (even) say there is a new quality of terror, though we know from previous times that in right-extremist circles bombing attacks were planned and carried out," Mr Schily told Germany's ZDF television, referring a 1980 attack that killed 13 people.

"There have been hints that right extremists are really a great potential danger for our society... and this has now been dramatically confirmed."

Mr Schily praised the police for their operation.

A "hit list" detailing other possible targets, including mosques, a Greek school and an Italian target, had been recovered, said Bavarian Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein.

Building site where suspected bomb plot would have taken place
Hundreds including German president will be at Munich ceremony
The explosives included at least 1.7kg of TNT. Weapons, grenades and ammunition were also recovered.

German media reports at the weekend speculated on the possible phenomenon of a neo-Nazi "Brown Army Faction", referring to the disbanded left-wing Red Army Faction.

"Faced with the flood of pictures from the Middle East, we had forgotten what extremists could also plan here at home," wrote commentator Guido Heinen in Die Welt.

"German political terrorism is back."

The magazine Focus said the internet had apparently been used to collect information on Munich's religious centres.

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