Italian police have dismantled a National Socialist resistance organization which targeted refugees and charities which were helping them in a series of arson attacks.
Six people, all in their early 20s, were arrested in the northern city of La Spezia on suspicion of carrying out nighttime raids targeting migrants over the last two years .
Investigators with the Carabinieri – the country’s national police force – discovered instructions for creating explosives, knives and other bladed weapons in a trailer belonging to the group when during the raid earlier this week.
They also found a large stash of NS paraphernalia, including two swastika flags.
The group, who have not been named, are suspected to have been behind two arson attacks on containers owned by the Catholic charity Caritas which were used to collect second-hand clothes to be given to the refugees.
They are also believed to have been involved with other acts of vandalism including damage to plaques commemorating Italian partisans and the daubing of swastikas on the walls of a local political party’s office.
Police say the extremists used a WhatsApp messaging group to attract new recruits to their organisation and boasted about acts of violence against migrants which have so far gone unreported.
They are now all facing investigation for arson, criminal damage and racial violence.