German intelligence worker admits far-right activities | News | DW | 20.09.2018
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German intelligence worker admits far-right activities

Hendrik S. has said that he sees no problem working for domestic security while being a member of two right-wing groups. But colleagues warn that this could open him up to blackmail, amongst other things.

There is no conflict between working for the Saxony state division of Germany's domestic security agency (the BfV) and being a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, as well as the Identitarian movement, which among other things denies the legitimacy of the German state. At least not according to Hendrik S., a man who does all three things.

In an interview with public broadcaster ARD, Hendrik S. said "regardless of what you do, you can organize and engage politically."

S. even admitted to the Panorama program to using his position to try and get elected as an AfD politician, saying he bragged about how his job could come in handy during an ultimately unsuccessful bid to get chosen as a candidate for Saxony's regional parliament. He also conceded that he took part in the unrest in the city of Chemnitz at the beginning of September, during which dozens of people were injured.

But Hendrik S. is not only an AfD functionary, serving as the vice-chair of the party's central Saxony branch, but also an Identitarian. This loosely-knit group espouses a number of anti-Semitic beliefs, and also believes that every German government after World War I is illegitimate, and thus that Germany is still lawfully a kingdom.

'Open to blackmail'

Stephan Kramer, who heads the BfV in the state of Thuringia, told ARD that not only is such a man a "security risk," but that he also "leaves himself open to blackmail."

During the Panorama program, several high-level lawmakers and offiicials in Saxony expressed their dismay at the man's purported beliefs in the Identitarian movement, as it actively seeks to undermine the work of the government.

Saxony's branch of the BfV said it "does not comment on specific personnel details," but added that "memberships in a non-extremist party are not an obstacle to civil service activity as such."

The AfD in Saxony has refused to comment on Hendrik S.

The BfV has come under fire recently after its former leader, Hans-Georg Maassen, questioned elements of the reporting about the unrest in Chemnitz and was accused of passing sensitive information on Islamic extremism to the openly Islamophobic AfD. He was removed from his position this week, but 

ultimately promoted to a higher post in the Interior Ministry.

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