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11 German men charged with far-right plot to attack Muslims, overthrow government

11 German men charged with far-right plot to attack Muslims, overthrow government
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Prosecutors on Friday charged 11 German men from a far-right terror group with planning deadly attacks on Muslims and plotting to overthrow the German government. 

According to The Associated Press, federal prosecutors alleged that eight of the men formed the “Group S” organization during a meeting in September 2019.

Three others are accused of joining the group later. A 12th person was also charged with supporting the group.

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Prosecutors also reportedly charged seven of the suspects with weapons violations in Stuttgart state court.

The AP reported that the suspects, who were listed without last names due to German privacy laws, wanted to “shake the state and the social order” in Germany and eventually create “conditions similar to civil war” by attacking mosques and killing or injuring as many Muslims as possible.

The group also allegedly hoped to lead a government coup, as well as use force against political opponents.

Authorities said the group held multiple private meetings, coordinated over messaging apps and by telephone, and that one of its members trained others to shoot a pistol.

Prosecutors said the group had a goal of raising $59,000, and all but one group member agreed to contribute four-figure amounts, although it was not immediately clear if the funds were raised.

According to the AP, all of the suspects were detained during Feb. 14 raids, and all but one are still in custody.

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The news comes amid increased tensions in Europe following multiple attacks.

Earlier this month, ISIS claimed credit for an attack in central Vienna that killed five people and wounded 22 others. The claim by ISIS followed news reports that the suspect was identified as 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, who had a previous terror conviction for attempting to join the Islamic State group in Syria, the AP reported at the time.

Multiple European countries raised their terror threat alerts following the Vienna attack and an earlier knife attack at a church in France. The knife attacker in Nice, who was reportedly carrying a copy of the Quran and other knives, was wounded and taken into custody after a confrontation with police.

That attack followed another one in France in which a middle school teacher was beheaded after showing students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.