World, Europe

'Far-right terrorism biggest threat to German security'

Germany witnessing surge in deadly right-wing extremist attacks, interior minister says

Oliver Towfigh Nia   | 09.07.2020
'Far-right terrorism biggest threat to German security'

BERLIN

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned on Thursday that right-wing extremism is "the greatest threat to security in Germany."

Presenting the annual domestic intelligence report at a press conference in Berlin, Seehofer pointed out that right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism, and racism were still the biggest threats to security.

He added that the numbers of crimes and violent-prone right-wing extremists have also continued to rise.

"Never before has a federal government identified this threat situation so clearly and unambiguously," the minister added.

Germany's domestic intelligence agency BfV said there were some 32,080 people in 2019 with "right-wing extremist potential" compared to 24,100 in the previous year.

Around 13,000 out of them were likely to commit violent crimes, according to the report.

Germany has witnessed growing racism and xenophobia in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of far-right, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim groups, including the main opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Last year, far-right extremists killed a pro-refugee politician in the central city of Kassel and attacked a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle, raising alarms over extreme right-wing terrorism in the country.

In February, a far-right extremist attacked two cafes in Hanau, killing nine people with migration background.

For years, the German government had been criticized by human rights groups for underestimating growing threat from right-wing extremists.

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