Six men held in Germany over alleged plan to sabotage power lines

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By AP
Workers prepare power supply on a high power pylon in Moers, Germany.
Workers prepare power supply on a high power pylon in Moers, Germany.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File

Authorities in Germany say they have detained six men on suspicion of planning to sabotage overhead power lines to disrupt the country’s electricity supply.

Police said hundreds of officers on Wednesday raided apartments that were linked to the men in the southeastern town of Neumarkt.

Officers found several illegal guns and rifles, as well as tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, police said.

Bavaria state police said the behaviour of the suspects -- aged between 34 and 59 -- indicated they belonged to the “prepper” scene, a loose movement of people who believe in preparing for societal collapse.

“There have so far been no concrete indications of terrorist motivations or a terrorist organisation,” German police said on Thursday.

Bavaria’s top security official, Joachim Herrmann, said the police operation had dealt “a sore blow to a group with reckless and anti-constitutional aims.”

“Thanks to resolute police work, planned acts of sabotage on major power lines were successfully prevented."