Germany has expressed concern over the rise of self-declared right-wing extremist citizen militias in the country, a government official said on Monday.
Responding to a question raised by Anadolu Agency at a regular government news briefing, German Interior Ministry Spokesman Steve Alter acknowledged that there was a "right-wing terrorist potential" in these self-proclaimed vigilante groups.
According to Alter, the militias have been trying to intimidate foreigners and political opponents.
These vigilante groups have reportedly tried to scare mostly foreigners or Muslims, especially in the eastern part of Germany where far-right parties have dominated regional elections over the past few years.
According to the Interior Ministry’s information, the right-wing citizen militias have their presence in almost all German states, however it failed to provide statistics on the number of members of these vigilante groups, Der Spiegel news magazine reported.
Germany has witnessed growing xenophobia and anti-migrant hatred in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of neo-Nazi groups and the far-right Islamophobic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Fears over Germany's violent far-right grew last month after a heavily-armed man shot two people dead, one of them outside a synagogue, in the eastern German city Halle last month.
The German government confirmed that it was a far-right extremist terrorist attack.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.