Government report shows more than 300 members of German security services have links to ‘right-wing’ extremism
A German government investigation has revealed that more than 300 members of the country’s security agencies have links to “Right wing” extremism, including officers who joined “Heil Hitler” Nazi chants and salutes.
“We will not allow our democratic rule of law to be sabotaged from within by right-wing extremists,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement Friday. “Every case of extremism must have clear consequences.” She added that Berlin will exhaust all current legal options to deal with extremists in the country’s security ranks, and will come up with legislation to help “eliminate the enemies of the constitution of the civil service more quickly.
The investigation looked at 860 suspected cases of extremist behavior dating back to July 2018 and found “concrete evidence” against 327 employees of the security services at the federal and state levels. The German military intelligence service (MAD) was the most numerous with offenders, with 83 employees involved in activities “against the free democratic fundamental order”, says the report. The Federal Police was in second place, with 18 such employees.
The Department of the Interior has identified 138 extremists working in federal agencies and 189 at the state level. More than 640,000 people work in the German security services.
“Each of these cases is one too many”, Faeser told reporters, adding that more than 500 disciplinary actions had been taken against security officers with confirmed links to extremism.
Friday’s report comes nearly two years after Germany’s first nationwide study of far-right extremism in the country’s security agencies uncovered hundreds of cases of alleged misconduct involving soldiers, police and officials. other managers. Although the number of cases is small compared to the size of Germany’s security workforce, the authors of the 2020 report acknowledged that “one can basically assume that there is also a dark field” undetected extremists.
Many cases involved the sharing of extremist symbols or images, such as swastikas. The latest review found a “diverse” range of prohibited activities, such as joining extremist chat groups, disseminating extremist propaganda and making “Politically Motivated Insults”. Some employees were suspected of belonging to the “Reichsburger” movement that denies the legitimacy of the modern German state.
Concerns about extremism within German security ranks have grown in recent years, amid a series of high-profile cases involving police officers and members of the military. These cases included the prosecution of an army officer accused of plotting a terrorist attack in which he posed as a Syrian refugee.
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