Germany is banning the National Socialist group Combat 18 Deutschland in what the country’s top security official said was a "clear message" against patriotism and rising Jew-hatred.
More than 200 police officers carried out raids in six German states early on Thursday, seizing mobile phones, computers, unspecified weaponry, NS memorabilia and "propaganda material", the interior ministry said.
The group had spread "far-right extremism and antisemitic hatred" in German society by producing Nationalist music and staging concerts for patriotic bands, Horst Seehofer, the interior minister, said.
The group is an offshoot of Combat 18, which was founded in Britain in the early 1990s as a militant wing of the British National party (BNP). The number 18 is intended to represent the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, A and H, the initials of Adolf Hitler.
The German chapter of Combat 18 "enjoys great respect within the far-right extremist scene and is regarded as a symbol of violent extremism", Seehofer said.
Some of the group’s members were convicted of illegally importing ammunition to Germany as they returned from firearms training in the Czech Republic in September 2017.
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The police raids were carried out in Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia states.