German police raid suspects over leftist 'kill list'

German police have raided the homes and workplaces of two people, one of whom is a policeman, suspected of planning to capture and kill left-wing politicians because of their views on immigration, according to authorities.

The suspects, who feared Germany’s refugee policies would impoverish the country, had begun to stockpile food and ammunition and plan attacks, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Monday

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The searches, which took place in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, were carried out by national police and federal criminal investigators.

No arrests were made or any arrest warrants issued yet. 

“The suspects see the crisis they fear taking hold as an opportunity to capture left-wing political representatives and kill them with their weapons,” the statement said, adding that the two had drawn up a list of target names and planned “serious violence threatening to the state”. 

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Authorities identified one of the suspects as a city police officer from Ludwigslust, about 40km south of the state capital of Schwerin.

Disciplinary measures against the suspected police officer were taken Monday in connection with the case, the ministry said in a statement without elaborating.

The two suspects, whose names were not released, are alleged to have discussed the German government’s refugee and migration policies with others in online chat groups.

They allegedly stated that they thought those policies would increase crime and cause a collapse of public order.

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Raids were also carried out at the homes of third parties who have not been identified as suspects, including a second Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania police officer, the ministry said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is vying for re-election in general elections next month, said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday that she had no regrets about her 2015 decision to leave Germany’s borders open to hundreds of thousands of refugees. 

An estimated 280,000 refugees arrived in the country in 2016. That number fell to about 106,000 in the first seven months of this year.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies