Germany under threat of widening far-right network

Published 16.04.2019 00:20

Germany's domestic intelligence agency (BfV) has warned of a formation of an extensive network between different far-right groups.

In a statement to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, BfV security agency chief Thomas Haldenwang said that developments in recent years show that more attention should be paid to right-wing formations in the country. "We observe that various extremist right-wing groups are building a dense network with each other," said Haldenwang, underscoring the danger stemming from the extreme right-wing.

Intelligence services have for years been increasing surveillance of ultra-right groups which are seen as a growing threat and capable of carrying out terrorist attacks similar to those that left 50 dead at two mosques in New Zealand. In Germany, intelligence agencies will devote 50 percent more staff in 2019 to fighting right-wing groups, Haldenwang said last year.

A number of neo-Nazi groups have been broken up over the past years in Germany. German authorities are increasingly concerned over growing right-wing terrorism in the country. Since 2016, Germany has conducted an increasing number of nationwide raids targeting right-wing groups, including houses, apartments and other properties believed to be owned by members of such groups, targeting the so-called "Reich citizens' movement," known as the Reichsbürgers.

The most recent operation against such groups involved the detention of seven members of the so-called "Revolution Chemnitz" group which was allegedly planning an attack linked to the Oct. 3 national day celebrations last year.

In August 2018, massive far-right rallies rocked the city of Chemnitz, in eastern Germany, where skinheads hounded migrants and performed the illegal Hitler salute. After the violence in Chemnitz, German police detained six men suspected of forming a far-right militant organization that assaulted foreigners in Chemnitz and had also planned attacks on politicians. The arrests once again cast an uncomfortable spotlight on the growing problem of far-right terrorism in Chemnitz, which is a stronghold of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

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