German police open probe against neo-Nazi youth gang
Police in the eastern state of Thuringia said the suspects were suspected of several charges, including grievous bodily harm and incitement of racial hatred.Berlin -- German police said Thursday they had opened a probe against a gang of young neo-Nazis accused of repeated racist attacks on foreigners in a region popular with tourists.
Police in the eastern state of Thuringia said the suspects were suspected of charges, including grievous bodily harm and incitement of racial hatred, for a string of assaults since last April.
Four suspects were detained Tuesday in the city of Weimar for shouting racial slurs at an employee of an Asian snack shop and flashing the Nazi straight-armed salute. Weimar is a tourist magnet, as it is the hometown of writers Goethe and Schiller.
The group, composed of people between the ages of 14 and 17, was released after questioning. One of the four was also believed to have rampaged against an Asian snack shop in Weimar along with five other skinheads.
Police say the youths were suspected of being behind repeated crimes against foreigners over the last year, including an ambush of young backpackers in the spa town Bad Berka, scuffles after a demonstration by the neo-Nazi NPD party and daubing Nazi swastikas around the region.
"An intensive investigation by the police led to the identification of a group of youths between the ages of 14 and 21 from the region around Weimar who were involved in various crimes," police said in a statement. "Most of the suspects made admissions of guilt during questioning," the statement said, adding that police suspected a "political" motive.