French neo-Nazis arrested after large cache of weapons found in Alsace

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Two people in France's north-eastern Alsace region were arrested after police raided a residence of known neo-Nazis, finding 18 legal weapons, 23 illegal weapons and 120,000 munitions.

Two of the four men at the residence, arrested on 31 May, were indicted for arms trafficking and imprisoned, prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot said during a press conference on Friday. They face 10 years in prison.

The other two remain free but under judicial supervision, while a fifth person was released without charge.

Roux-Morizot said the men were not planning an attack, but with the large weapons cache there was a fear they would “take action”, which led to their arrest. Police are monitoring their computer data.

'Impressive' find

Among the weapons were 72 Kalashnikovs, 167 magazines and more than 35 kilograms of gunpowder. The home visit also yielded three machines to make ammunition, a machine to heat casings, a banknote counter, four scales, two silencers and more than 25,000 euros.

The haul amounted to “at least 120,000 (rounds) of ammunition of all calibres, but many were intended for weapons of war”, said Lieutenant-Colonel Yann Wanson, judicial police chief.

He added that one of the suspects took training courses as a sniper.

Roux-Morizot said the suspects in the small group of neo-Nazis were aged between 45 and 53 and had jobs, noting that they were “citizens like any other”.

Their neo-Nazi affiliation was confirmed by the literature found in their belongings.

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