Mass police raid in Leipzig targets suspected left-wing extremists as fears grow of notorious Hammer Gang revival

More than 100 police officers raided several properties linked to left-wing extremists, including the office of a prominent Green Party councilor

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

German police officers descended on several properties linked to left-wing extremists in the city of Leipzig on Wednesday, including the office of a prominent Green Party politician.

In a mass operation led by the Saxon State Criminal Police Office, more than 100 officers searched a total of 10 apartments and offices belonging to several individuals believed to sympathize with the notorious far-left Hammer Gang responsible for a series of severely violent beatings of right-wing activists across the country.

Several items were seized in the raid as part of the ongoing investigation by the Special Commission on Left-wing Extremism working out of the Police Terrorism and Extremism Counter Center of Saxony.

A total of seven men and two women between the ages of 20 and 53 are under investigation for their alleged involvement with the gang, while one other individual is being sought by the authorities.

One of the premises searched by police was the office of local Green Party city councilor, Jürgen Kasek, who has previously been accused of sympathizing with the extremist group. He previously expressed support for Lina Engel, the Hammer Gang ringleader jailed for five years and three months in May last year for her role in mass attacks against alleged right-wing sympathizers in both Hungary and Germany.

The German authorities are working on the assumption that the gang is still active in Leipzig and is meeting regularly to commit crimes.

Recent attacks in the city have suggested a second coming for the self-proclaimed anti-fascist gang, including the injury of a 22-year-old right-wing activist outside Leipzig Central Station in November last year after he is believed to have taken part in a Pegida demonstration.

Three of the individuals under investigation are alleged to have committed an attempted arson in an underground car park in the city’s district of Connewitz in the same month, while another is accused of attacking a police officer earlier last year.

One of the Hammer Gang members was jailed in Hungary back in January after being sentenced to three years in prison almost a year after his involvement in the brutal beatings in Budapest.

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