Italy Uncovers Plot to Create New Nazi Party

November 28, 2019 Updated: December 3, 2019

ROME—Italian police said on Thursday they uncovered a plot to form a new National Socialist (Nazi) party and seized a cache of weapons during searches across the country.

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.

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 movement,” a police statement said.

Nazi
Italian police handout shows weapons and a Nazi flag with a swastika that they say were seized in searches of properties of an extreme political group who planned to create a new Nazi party, in an unidentified location in Italy in a picture released on Nov. 28, 2019. (Polizia di Stato/Handout via REUTERS)

Police did not say how many people joined the group or how many arrests were made. In Italy “defense of fascism” and efforts to revive fascist parties are crimes.

The new party was called the Italian National Socialist Party of Workers and police showed off a range of Nazi paraphernalia, including swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler seized during searches of 19 properties.

Italian police handout shows books that they say were seized in searches of properties of an extreme political group who planned to create a new Nazi party, in an unidentified location in Italy in a picture released on Nov. 28, 2019. (Polizia di Stato/Handout via REUTERS)
Nazi
Italian police handout shows weapons including automatic rifles that they say were seized in searches of properties of an extreme political group who planned to create a new Nazi party, in an unidentified location in Italy a picture released on Nov. 28, 2019. (Polizia di Stato/Handout via REUTERS)

They also found a large number of weapons, including pistols, hunting rifles, and crossbows.

The group had forged links with extremist groups abroad, including in Portugal, Britain, and France, police said.

Police in July found a huge stash of weapons, including an air-to-air missile, linked to political extremists, while in November two men connected to another group of Nazi sympathizers were arrested on suspicion of planning to attack a mosque.

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