Austrian police seize large weapons cache destined for German extremists

Guns, bullets, drugs, explosives, cash were intercepted on their way to right-wing extremist groups.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Police in Austria on Saturday announced they had broken up an arms smuggling gang and seized a large cache of weapons, ammunition and drugs that were destined for right-wing extremist groups in Germany.

“Thanks to meticulous investigations against several people since October 2020, the Vienna State Criminal Police Office has succeeded in striking a major blow in the field of drug and illegal arms trafficking with connections to right-wing extremist groups,” Austria’s Landes Polizei Direktion (LPD) police agency said in a statement on their website.

Police said five men between the ages of 21 and 53 were arrested in Austria and another two were arrested in Germany connected to the same ongoing investigation that is tracing the origin of the weapons, adding that the Austrian Armed Forces were involved in the investigation. One of the Austrians was known to authorities for his far-right activities and being a suspect connected to a letter bombing campaign in Austria in the 1990s, Deutsche Welle reported.

“We have struck a massive blow against the right-wing extremist scene in Austria and organized crime, and how they are connected,” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said at an online press conference with police officials to announce the arrests.

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The weapons cache included 100 firearms, 100,000 rounds of ammunition and 24 pieces of explosives included six hand grenades, along with drugs including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and 5,820 euros in cash.

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said some of the weapons were destined for building up a German far-right militia, with Vienna police chief Gerhard Pürstl describing it as the largest seizure of weapons in decades that were to be used by the extremist group in the southern German state of Bavaria.

“German intelligence agencies are increasingly concerned about the threat posed by far-right extremists, following an increase in political crimes and the involvement of the far-right in anti-coronavirus lockdown protests,” the DW report said.