A terrifying cache of Nazi memorabilia, guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition have been seized during police raids on homes in Austria.
Prosecutors staged the raids on 11th January after secretly monitoring the social media records of a network of suspected neo-nazi sympathisers in Salzburg.
Officers confiscated 15 rifles with sniper sights, 10 handguns, 2,000 rounds of ammunition and a cache of knives, swords and bayonets.
One collection included a metal shield showing an eagle, a swastika and the maxim Blut und Ehre, or Blood and Honour, the motto of Nazi Germany’s Hitler Youth.
Police also seized apparently original Word War II era Nazi material plus modern-day celebrations of Adolf Hitler’s regime.
Forensic computer specialists are also studying seized data storage units for further material.
Police said in a statement on 11th January obtained by Newsflash: “The Regional Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Fight against Terrorism is investigating the actions of a group of people for a possible breach of laws regarding the re-engagement in National Socialist activities.
“In recent months, there have been chats in social media channels. Their content indicated an extremist far-right mindset.
“The Salzburg State Prosecution ordered the homes of the participants to be searched.
“This affected two individuals aged 30 and 42 from the district of St. Johann and a 79-year-old person from the Salzburg Umgebung district.”
Salzburg Police added: “Several data storage devices and National Socialist memorabilia were confiscated.
“Additionally, investigators discovered 15 long guns, ten pistols and 2,000 pieces of ammunition as well as knives, bayonets and steel rods.”
A photo released by the police and obtained by Newsflash also shows a flag depicting an eagle, an Iron Cross and the slogan ‘Lost are only those who have given themselves up.’
Salzburg police added: “Some of the weapons had been registered. However, the individuals failed to obtain licences for the possessions of other weapons discovered at their homes.”
The suspects, whose identities were not revealed, were interrogated but not put in custody and state prosecutors are investigating.
The anti-fascist regulations introduced in Austria after World War II have been tightened several times through the decades.
It is now a criminal offence to own Nazi memorabilia such as flags and posters.
Speaking approvingly of fascist regimes and establishing far-right organisations are also banned by the country’s federal legal framework.
Anyone found guilty of breaching any of these regulations faces up to 10 years in prison.
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