The gang claims to have killed ethnic Turks and Greeks and a police officer, prosecutors say
Police found the claims on a video apparently intended for the media
Two of the suspects died in a fire, and a third turned herself in, prosecutors say
German authorities had not believed there were right-wing terror cells the country
Two suspects believed to be members of a neo-Nazi terror cell involved in killing at least 10 people, mostly of Turkish and Greek origin, have been arrested, German prosecutors said.
In a video which they apparently planned to send to German media outlets, the alleged terrorists claim to have killed eight ethnic Turks, one ethnic Greek and a police officer from 2000 to 2007, prosecutors said.
The attacks occurred all over Germany and became known as the “Doener Murder Series.” Until the arrests, police had not thought they were committed by the same people.
The German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the right-wing extremists also claim in the video to be responsible for several bank robberies and a nail-bomb attack in Cologne in 2004, which hit a street with mostly Turkish and Kurdish residents.
German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said Monday: “It looks like we are facing a new form of right-wing extremist terrorism.”
Authorities in the country have not previously believed there were active, organized right-wing terror cells operating in Germany, experts say.
Germany’s Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office took charge of the investigation on Friday.
Two of the alleged terrorists, identified as Uwe B. and Uwe M., were found dead in a burning motor home on November 4, the prosecutor general’s office said.
Their flatmate Beate Z. set off a bomb in the eastern German town of Zwickau and then fled, prosecutors said.
Four days later she turned herself in to local police, they said.
Investigators have found the weapons that were used in the attacks, the prosecutor general’s office said.
They also say pro-Nazi materials have been found – potentially itself a crime under post-war German laws banning the promotion of Adolf Hitler or Nazi symbols.
On Sunday another man, Holger G., was arrested near Hannover on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities, prosecutors said.
“He is suspected of being a member of the terrorist group “National Socialist Underground (NSU),” they said in a statement Sunday.
Authorities do not currently believe the four were part of a larger group.
No one has been charged with a crime at this point.
The news has sparked outrage among Germans.
Der Spiegel labeled the group the “Brown Army Faction,” a reference to the brown shirts worn by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis and to Germany’s best-known left-wing terror group, the Red Army Faction.
Right-wing wing extremism expert Hajo Funke said it should have been possible to uncover the group’s activities much earlier, since the three main suspects were first arrested more than a decade ago.
Beate Z., Uwe M. and Uwe B. were arrested in 1998 after preparing a bomb attack, but neither the German police nor the country’s equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation kept them under surveillance afterwards.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement Sunday that her thoughts were with “the relatives of the alleged right-wing terrorists’ victims. The victims’ families can be sure on our justice system is going to do everything to solve these crimes.”
Germany has a substantial ethnic Turkish population that has been in the country since the 1960s. In the past there have been isolated violent incidents targeting Turkish migrants in the country.
CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen contributed to this report.