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According to the Associated Press, three neo-Nazis have been arrested in France after a plot to attack a Masonic lodge in Moselle was uncovered. Held under France’s strict anti-terrorism laws, it’s not yet clear exactly what charges will be laid in front of the accused.
Thankfully for Masons in the region, the attack was uncovered during its planning stage, and no damage or injuries were reported. Initially six people were arrested after the plot was uncovered, with three released soon after without charge.
Although details of the plot are scarce at this stage, having only being uncovered at the beginning of May 2021, it is thought that the three suspects were arrested after communications between them and ‘stake-outs of targets’ were uncovered by police.
As further details emerge, it will be interesting to monitor the progress of the case from a Masonic perspective. Why was the lodge targeted? Was it attack on Masonry, or perhaps a localised issue?
In France in recent years, there have been several attempted attacks by right-wing activists uncovered by police, most notably a 2018 plot to attack President Emmanuel Macron. The suspects held in custody are still awaiting trial since their arrest.
Although pure speculation, it would perhaps suggest that the attack on the Masonic lodge in Moselle is indicative of the prevalence of ultra-right-wing groups in France, and their embitterment towards anything resembling the establishment.
Let’s hope that such action isn’t part of a broader attack on the institution of Freemasonry and the values we brothers hold dear. Of course, our fraternity has undergone attacks and repressive acts in the past, even by the Nazis themselves during the years leading up to the Second World War.
While the motive for the attack on the Moselle lodge remains unclear, we will closely monitor the story and share any updates as and when they emerge.