A helmet with a swastika, a pistol, the replica of a rifle and cartridges which have been seized lie on a table during a press conference of the police in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday.
Three suspected neo-Nazis were arrested in Germany early Wednesday after 100 security officers raided the offices of a right-wing political party and the homes of more than a dozen alleged extremists, police told NBC News.
The raids in the northwestern cities of Radevormwald, Düsseldorf, Wuppertal and Essen were part of a new investigation focusing on leaders of a far-right group called “Freundeskreis Rade,” police said.
The three suspects were due to be brought before a judge later on Wednesday. Police and state prosecutors allege they have been linked to "significant crimes."
The right-wing "Pro NRW" is a local party in the state of North-Rhein Westphalia (NRW).
Authorities were heavily criticized after failing to connect an underground neo-Nazi terror cell to a 10-year killing spree in which a German police officer, one Greek immigrant and nine Turkish immigrants were murdered.
German police and intelligence officials failed to investigate possible racist motives in the case despite receiving an FBI report in 2007 showing that the 11 victims had been killed because of their ethnicity, Der Spiegel news magazine reported this week.
Msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.
More world news from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- Rupert Murdoch grilled at UK phone-hacking inquiry
- South Korea retailers stop selling US beef in wake of California mad cow case
- Lawyer: Jailed Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko beaten, on hunger strike
- Pakistan tests nuclear-capable missile as arms race intensifies
- UK slides back into recession in first double dip since 1970s
- China wary as US, Philippines stage war games
Follow us on Twitter: @msnbc_world