Police conducted raids across Germany Wednesday targeting a group calling itself the National Socialist Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Germany, confiscating more than 100 weapons that ranged from air guns to swords.
In the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, police said members of the group “glorify” Naziism and harbor “violent fantasies.”
The raids involved around 200 officers that swept 12 locations across eight of Germany’s 16 states. Forty people are now under investigation, police said.
KKK groups, though small, have a long history in Germany, including relationships with American KKK groups and ties to the most violent Nazi organization in Germany’s recent history, the National Socialist Underground.
The police did not initially provide much information about whether the group targeted in this week’s raids had ties to other far-right organizations, but they said they found no evidence that this group had a connection with other KKK groups.
The raids come as concerns continue to mount about far-right activity in Germany.
On Tuesday, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency announced it would begin a probe of whether the country’s third-largest political party, Alternative for Germany, had embraced a kind of extremism forbidden by the country’s post-Nazi constitution.
The country was also shaken last summer by anti-immigrant riots that followed a stabbing in the eastern city of Chemnitz, which also prompted a wave of protests at which people were arrested for making Hitler salutes.