Number of dangerous far-right extremists rises in Germany

Italian Police handout shows a large arsenal of weapons, including an air-to-air missile, that they say they seized in raids on neo-Nazi sympathisers, in Turin, Italy July 15, 2019. Polizia di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC154C4BEF00

Number of dangerous far-right extremists rises in Germany

The number of far-right extremists who are classified as “dangerous” in Germany has increased, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) announced as the county has been facing a growing far-right threat.

German police are currently classifying 53 of the 12,700 far-right extremists as “dangerous,” as reported by Deutsche Welle. In 2012, only 22 far-right extremists were considered dangerous. The “dangerous” classification is used for people who are thought to be able to commit severe violent crimes.

Germany has watched with alarm as far-right attacks have increased in recent years as the political climate has coarsened and grown more polarized. The loose and diverse far-right scene also includes police and army officers. German police have been shaken by an investigation into more police officers in the western German state of Hesse concerning far-right extremist leanings. The German army has also been shaken by a widening scandal over fears of hard-line racist views among soldiers.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) chief Thomas Haldenwang stressed that the areas of action of the far-right groups should be further restricted while urging the neo-Nazi organization “Combat 18” to be banned.