FRANKFURT, Germany -- Homes and offices of suspected neo-Nazis were raided by investigators across Europe Wednesday, amid reports a far-right group calling itself the "Werewolf Squad” was planning a terror attack.
Police and anti-terrorism units raided 11 homes, offices and prison cells in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland in a joint operation, German prosecutors said.
German channel Deutsche Welle reported that some 50 police personnel took part in the searches in that country.
The Spiegel Online website said the group was suspected of planning bomb attacks and had modeled itself on the "Werewolf" commandos whom the Nazis planned to send behind enemy lines towards the end of World War II.
Police confiscated computers, memory cards and documents in the apartments and offices of four individuals in the three countries, Reuters reported.
Sources told NBC News that the move was an attempt by authorities to pre-empt neo-Nazi activity by displaying vigilance.
German authorities are under pressure to step up their response to far-right threats after the chance discovery in 2011 of a neo-Nazi cell, the National Socialist Underground (NSU), suspected of murdering eight Turks, a Greek and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007, Reuters reported.
The group's last surviving member is now on trial, and the case has triggered accusations that, despite Germany's traumatic Nazi past, police and especially the domestic intelligence agency are blind to far-right militancy.
NBC News' Alastair Jamieson and Reuters contributed to this report.
First published July 17 2013, 11:04 AM