(Bloomberg) -- German authorities banned a neo-Nazi group with roots in the US and raided the apartments of 28 members across 10 federal states in an operation coordinated with American officials.
The group known as “Hammerskins Deutschland” and an associated organization called “Crew 38” were both outlawed in an operation that Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said dealt a “heavy blow” to right-wing extremism and sent a signal that racism and antisemitism won’t be tolerated.
Such groups represent “the greatest extremist threat to our democracy,” Faeser said Tuesday in an emailed statement. “That is why we continue to act decisively to dismantle right-wing extremist structures.”
The government’s latest move against radical elements comes amid growing support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party, especially in the former communist eastern states. It’s the 20th ban imposed on a right-wing extremist group, according to the interior ministry.
Read More: The Far Right Is Advancing in a Vulnerable Europe Again
“Hammerskins Deutschland,” which has around 130 members, is an offshoot of “Hammerskins Nation,” founded in 1988 in the US, and plays a prominent role in the radical right-wing landscape in Europe, the ministry said.
Members see themselves as an elitist “brotherhood” within the skinhead scene and distribute extremist music and merchandise, it added.
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