Maccabi Tel Aviv fans attending this weeks Euroleague Final Four in Moscow could be targeted by neo-Nazis and skinheads, a Moscow police source told Haaretz yesterday.
"We must warn Maccabi fans against possible violent attacks," the source said. "We will take all the security measures at our disposal, but we cannot provide protection for every fan."
Moscow police and the FSB, the Russian federal security service, have been following with increasing concern Web postings by extreme right-wing, neo-Nazi groups and nationalist Bolsheviks, including a call to "teach the Jews a lesson" and to "make sure they don't pollute the Russian capital."
With celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany taking place on May 9, a day after the Final Four championship game, and a summit of European Union leaders with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 10, the security forces will have a massive presence in the Russian capital, but still fear extremists could attack Maccabi fans.
According to intelligence reports, extremists have exchanged information on where the Maccabi fans will be located, and the security forces fear they could try to carry out a pogrom against Maccabi fans as an affront to the regime in light of the 60th anniversary celebrations.
"Any attempt to harm our guests at such a sensitive period will be responded to with extreme severity," the police source said.
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