Police Foil Neo-Nazi Bomb Plot Against Munich Synagogue

Security around Jewish institutions like the Israeli Culture Center in Munich has been increased.

Deutsche Welle/September 12, 2003

German federal prosecutors said Friday that neo-Nazis arrested for planning a bomb attack on a Munich synagogue had additional targets in mind.

Munich police have arrested a group of neo-Nazis that were planning a massive bomb attack on the construction site of the city's planned synagogue, according to police and prosecution officials.

Working on an informant tip, police raided the Munich apartment of a suspected neo-Nazi and found more than 14 kg (30 lbs) of bomb-making material, including 1.7kg of the explosive TNT, weapons and a metal pipe. They arrested four suspected members of a Munich band of neo-Nazis, charging them with a planning a bomb attack and membership in a terrorist organization.

"Everything was there for a bomb, only the alarm was missing," a police official told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Police said the construction site of the new Munich Synagogue was going to be the target. Reports indicated the attack was going to take place during a cornerstone-laying ceremony attended by Rau, Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber and high-ranking members of the Jewish community on Nov. 9. The interior minister, however, said investigators weren't sure Nov. 9 was the target date.

Police say the seizure of bomb-making material was the largest found in Germany in the last decade and the largest in connection with right extremists since the end of WWII.

Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm said Thursday night his office was going to take on the case and was going to investigate the group of round 25 neo-Nazis, called the Kameradschaft Süd - Aktionsbüro Süddeutschland, to which the four belonged. Nehm also said Thursday that a case against three suspected members of the Islamic terror cell Al Tawahid, who had also planned attacks against Jewish targets, would head to trial in the coming months.

Group well-known to state investigators

The Bavarian Office of Constitutional Protection, a version of the FBI, issued a report this year stating that the number of attacks by right extremists has actually gone down in Bavaria. Investigators said the Aktionsbüro, founded in 2000, took part in massive demonstrations and marches in Munich against a museum exhibit highlighting the crimes of Wehrmacht soldiers during WWII.

Several of its members have been arrested for fights and attacks in and around Munich. The group apparently has regular contact to the NPD, the political wing of the right extremists which government officials have been unsuccessfully trying to get banned.

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