- Title: Threat of right-wing terrorism 'very high' in Germany: minister
- Date: 10th October 2019
- Summary: BLOOD ON GROUND
- Embargoed: 24th October 2019 17:05
- Keywords: Halle synagogue shooting German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer far-right memorial
- Location: HALLE AND COLOGNE, GERMANY
- City: HALLE AND COLOGNE, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA002B0IK6KN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Germany's interior minister on Thursday warned that the threat of anti-Semitism and right-wing terrorism was very high after a gunman killed two people near a synagogue in the east of the country.
"We unfortunately have to face the truth, which - for some time already - is that the threat of anti-Semitism, right-wing extremism, and right-wing terrorism is very high," Horst Seehofer told a news conference in Halle.
A gunman suspected of attacking a German synagogue and killing two people nearby wanted to commit a massacre and hoped to incite others to copy him by live-streaming his deadly rampage, Germany's federal prosecutor said on Thursday.
The man, identified as Stephan B., modelled Wednesday's attack on a shooting spree at New Zealand mosques earlier this year in which 51 people were killed. He wanted to kill as many people as possible in the synagogue in the eastern city of Halle, the prosecutor said.
Dozens of people were at the synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, when the gunman tried to blast his way in - only to fail to breach the solid locked gates.
Far-right expert Thomas Grumke told Reuters that the act was part of a trend of right-wing extremism that was finding a global following and using worldwide attacks as inspiration.
Investigators found 4 kilograms of explosives in the suspect's car. In a video lasting more than 30 minutes that the attacker live-streamed from a helmet camera, he was heard cursing his failure to gain entry to the synagogue before shooting dead a woman passer-by in the street and a man in a nearby kebab restaurant.
Two other people were injured but not critically.
Most Jewish institutions in large German cities have a near-permanent police guard due to the threat of anti-Semitic attacks by both far-right activists and Islamist militants.
Josef Schuster, president of the council of Germany's 200,000-strong Jewish community, criticised police for not being present at the synagogue in Halle but said he had received a commitment that all Jewish institutions in the region would receive police protection for the long-term.
(Production: Leon Malherbe, Tanya Wood, Andy Buerger, Erol Drogrudrogan)
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