Eurojust and Europol supported authorities in Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Romania and Italy in an international operation against right-wing terrorism.
According to Europol, during a joint action day on November 9, five suspects were apprehended and an additional seven others were interrogated across the different countries. Furthermore, data carriers and weapons were seized.
Europol said that the suspects allegedly belong to a right-wing organization that uses an online platform for terrorist-related activities, including the dissemination of violent extremist propaganda, the active recruitment of new members and for sharing manuals of 3D printed weapons. Some of the members of the organisation are believed to have written their own manifesto and to have access to weapons.
“Despite of the young age of some of the suspects, indicators showed that there was an increased risk that some of them would take action soon,” Europol said.
The case was opened by Eurojust in July 2023 at the request of the Belgian authorities. Two coordination meetings were hosted by the Europol to facilitate judicial cooperation between the authorities of the countries involved the investigation.
Europol said its European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) has been supporting the case since July 2023 and brought together the investigators involved across Europe to establish a joint strategy and prepare for the final day of action. The information exchange facilitated by Europol was intense – over 350 SIENA messages were exchanged in the framework of this investigation.
On the action day, a joint Operational Command Room was set up at Europol’s headquarters to coordinate the different actions taking place simultaneously across all the countries involved. In addition, Europol experts were deployed to Belgium, Italy, Lithuania and Croatia to facilitate the real-time information exchange between all the countries involved.