How many German police officers does it take to shut down one neo-Nazi radio station? More than 270, according to the BBC, which reported this week that authorities arrested 23 people suspected of involvement in a hate-mongering, far-right Internet broadcasting operation.
Widerstands Radio — the name means “resistance” — had been under investigation since October 2009, according to the DW World news site. Along with commentary, it played music from German and international skinhead bands which included racist and neo-Nazi content — illegal in Germany.
Twenty-two households were raided across Germany on Wednesday, most in the western states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, DW World said. Among the charges laid: Forming a criminal organization and inciting racial hatred, according to the BBC. Police seized computers, hard drives and cell phones. They also found a number of weapons.
Most of those arrested are in their 20s and 30s, according to the Toronto Sun; Germany’s Federal Crime Office says far-right wingers are using music to appeal to young people, and estimates the number of people with the potential to carry out far-right violence in Germany had doubled to around 9,000 over the last decade.
“[The] investigations are a strong hint to people running other extreme-right internet radio stations that dissemination of songs with extreme-right wing and xenophobic lyrics, even on the internet, will be pursued,” Federal Crime Office head Joerg Ziercke told the BBC.
The website of the radio station had apparently had around 135,000 hits since last year, Ziercke also told Reuters.