German police to 'increase presence' nationwide and at mosques: interior minister

Security threat from far right 'very high' in Germany: interior minister

Germany's interior minister Horst Seehofer has said the threat from right-wing extremism in the country is "very high", following Wednesday's gun attack on two shisha bars in which nine people were killed. 
The attack took place in Hanau, a town close to Frankfurt in the western state of Hesse. 

German police have identified around 60 far-right adherents as "dangerous" individuals capable of carrying out a violent attack. 

Last Friday, they arrested 12 members of a German extreme right group believed to have been plotting "shocking" large-scale attacks on mosques, similar to the ones carried out in New Zealand last year.

At a press conference in Berlin, Mr Seehofer said that the "security threat from right-wing extremism, anti-semitism and racism is very high," also announcing an "increased police presence" at mosques, train stations, airports and borders.

Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said the government would examine in detail how firearms could end up in the hands of "extremists".

Both Mr Seehofer and Ms Lambrecht underlined the difficulty of detecting attackers who act alone, as the key suspect in the Hanau shootings appeared to have done.

"Despite all our efforts, we cannot completely rule out such terrible crimes," said Mr Seehofer.

Federal police chief Holger Muench, meanwhile, warned that "around half" of those who carry out such attacks were previously unknown to the authorities.

Thousands of people took part in vigils across Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the "poison" of racism as anger mixed with grief over the latest attack linked to the extreme right in recent months.

The suspect, 43-year-old German Tobias R., was found dead at his home after the shooting along with his 72-year-old mother.

Hundreds of people, many carrying candles or a white rose, gathered in silence in Hanau yesterday evening to show solidarity with the victims.

Large crowds also gathered in Frankfurt and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, some carrying signs that read "Take racism personally" or "Never Again!", in scenes replicated across dozens of German cities.

The nine people killed at the two bars were aged between 21 and 44 and all had a "migrant background," although some were German citizens, chief federal prosecutor Peter Frank said.

He added that evidence, including video footage and a "manifesto" found on the suspect's website, showed Tobias R. had "a very deeply racist attitude".

The Turkish presidency said five Turkish nationals were among those killed.

A Bulgarian and a Bosnian were also among the dead.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier placed a wreath of white flowers outside the Arena bar on before addressing the main Hanau vigil.

Mr Steinmeier condemned the shooter's "brutal act of terror".

But he said he was heartened to see "thousands, maybe even tens of thousands" turning out across the country to honour the victims.

"We stand together, we want to live together and we show that over and over again. That is the strongest way to fight hatred," he said, to the occasional shout of "Nazis Out!" from the crowd.

Elsewhere, Frankfurt's Eintracht football team held a minute's silence ahead of its Europa League match against RB Salzburg.

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