Far-Right Gang of Bombers Targeted Refugees: German Officials

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By Andy Eckardt and Carlo Angerer

MAINZ, Germany — Five alleged members of a far-right terror group behind a series of bombings were arrested in Germany early Tuesday.

The suspects are thought to be connected to at least three attacks using explosives — including two targeting centers housing migrants and refugees.

The federal prosecutor’s office said members of the elite "GSG 9" SWAT-style force were among 200 police officers involved in the raids on several apartments in the eastern state of Saxony.

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Elite German police arrested five people in the German city of Freital on Tuesday.ARNO BURGI / AFP - Getty Images

Four men and one woman were detained. Due to German privacy rules, they were identified only as 18-year-old Justin S., 39-year-old Rico K., 27-year-old Maria K., 25-year-old Sebastian W., and 26-year-old Mike S.

According to a statement released by prosecutors, at least three other men aged in their 20s belonged to the extremist group. They remained in investigative custody on Tuesday.

The so-called “Gruppe Freital” — or “Group Freital” — dates back to at least July, officials said. Freital is a town just outside Dresden, Germany.

Prosecutors said that the eight are suspected of forming the right-wing group to attack centers housing asylum-seekers as well as the dwellings of people with differing political views.

They allegedly obtained a three-digit number of pyrotechnic charges from the Czech Republic.

Germany has witnessed a rise in far-right attacks after the country took in more than a million refugees during in 2015.

Investigators stepped up their monitoring of far-right extremists following a murder spree by the so-called National Socialist Underground (NSU), a neo-Nazi terror cell which went undetected for more than 7 years.

Beate Zschaepe, the only known surviving member of the NSU, remains on trial. She has been dubbed the "Nazi Bride" by German media and "Hitler child" by anti-racism demonstrators.