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French police break up neo-Nazi group who posed armed on internet

C18 graffit in Doubs, eastern France
C18 graffit in Doubs, eastern France Screengrab

French police claim to have broken up a neo-Nazi cell with the arrest of four men in the east of the country. The group, Blood and Honour C18, took their name from a British neo-Nazi group that took the numbers in its name from Adolf Hitler’s initials.

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Police arrested three men, aged 28, 33 and 43, in Morteau, near the eastern French city of Besançon, and one, aged 24, in Burgundy on Tuesday.

The two younger men in Morteau are brothers and one is covered head to toe in Nazi tattoos and both have served prison terms for racist violence, sources say.

The group recently published photos on the internet of eight masked men posing with a Kalashnikov, a pump-action shotgun, hunting rifles and baseball bats alongside a declaration that they were ready to take up arms to defend nationalist ideals, according to police spokesperson Didier Guériaud.

The group, which celebrates Hitler’s birthday every year, took its name from the British group Combat 18, founded in 1991, which was the armed wing of the Blood & Honour neo-Nazi sect.

The suspects are to be charged with organising and participating in an armed group, plotting a crime punishable with more than 10 years’ jail and defending war crimes.
 

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