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Swiss neo-Nazis want to create national organisation

Urs von Däniken, head of the federal police, sounds the alarm bells about the creation of the NAO. Keystone

Swiss neo-Nazis want to create a national association according to the head of the federal police, Urs von Daeniken. The project has been under observation by the police since the beginning of the year.

The chief of the federal police has called the neo-Nazi plans “dangerous” in an interview with the tabloid “Sonntagsblick”. The head of the federal police believes that if a national organisation of violent right-wing extremists was created, the actual risk of violence would be multiplied.

The organisation would be called the “Nationale Aufbau-Organisation” (NAO), the Organisation for National Development.

As far as the federal police know, the group is made up of around 20 to 100 people. According to von Daeniken, the aim of the NAO is to unify skinheads and unorganised right-wing extremists as a national political force.

The federal police want to block the creation of this extreme right-wing group, but von Daeniken said the authorities need political and media support if they are to succeed.

The “Sonntagsblick” has identified the would-be leader of the NAO as Pascal Lobsiger. He is considered the most active neo-Nazi in Switzerland.

Lobsiger was identified as one of the neo-Nazis who attempted to interrupt the federal finance minister, Kaspar Villiger, during his national day speech at the Rütli meadow on August 1.

He was also present a few weeks ago when skinheads fought a street battle with a group of Africans in St Gallen according to eyewitnesses. Lobsiger has also spent 12 months in prison for an attack that left 10 people injured in Hochdorf, in canton Lucerne, five years ago.

As the potential leader of the NAO, Lobsiger is also believed to be organising so-called history classes where the Holocaust is denied. He is also actively looking for new recruits as well as donations for his future organisation.

The public and politicians are starting to react to right-wing extremism in Switzerland. On Saturday, around 1,000 people demonstrated in Liestal, in canton Basel-Country.

The demonstration was to protest against a neo-Nazi march that was held in that town in mid-August. Twenty skinheads marched through Liestal to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess.

The police had stood by and watched at the time, something that has severely criticised by the public, politicians and media.

A national demonstration against right-wing extremism will be held in Berne next weekend.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR