Italian police uncover Nazi plot: 19 neo-Nazis arrested and weapons seized across the country
Italian police say they have arrested 19 neo-Nazis who wanted to form a new openly pro-Nazi, xenophobic and anti-Semitic party.
Police in 16 towns and cities from the Mediterranean island of Sicily to the Alps in northern Italy took part in the investigation, which was launched two years.
In raids across the country, police discovered explosives, Nazi plaques featuring swastikas, Nazi flags and books on Hitler and Mussolini.
They also found a large number of weapons, including pistols, hunting rifles, and crossbows.
The probe revealed a “huge and varied array of subjects, residents in different places, united by the same ideological fanaticism and willing to create an openly pro-Nazi, xenophobic and anti-Semitic group called the Italian National Socialist Workers’ Party”, a police statement said.
The members made contact with other neo-Nazi groups outside Italy, including Britain’s Combat 18 and Portugal’s far-right New Social Order.
The head of the organization was a 50-year-old woman based in Padua, in the north of Italy, who works in the public administration and has no criminal record. According to the police, her nickname was “Hitler’s Sergeant Major”. Investigators found swastikas and antisemitic material at her home.
Another neo-Nazi is a 26-year-old woman from Sicily who once won an online beauty contest called “Miss Hitler” and in August spoke at a far-right conference in Lisbon.
Police in July found a huge stash of weapons, including an air-to-air missile, linked to neo-Nazis, while in November two men connected to another group of Nazi sympathizers were arrested on suspicion of planning to attack a mosque.