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Far-right cases rise in Germany's security agencies

May 13, 2022

Members of Germany's security agencies were found to have participated in right-wing extremist events and chats. In some instances, they took part in "Heil Hitler" chants and Hitler salutes, an official report revealed.

A March 2021 demonstration where protesters flew flags of the "Reichsbürger" Citizens of the Reich movement
In a new report, German security agency members were found to have taken part in right-wing extremist eventsImage: Abdulhamid Hosbas/AA/picture alliance

An official report found concrete evidence of right-wing extremism in over 300 cases within Germany's top security agencies, Germany's Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said at a press conference on Friday.

The report comes amid increase scrutiny of German security authorities, following a slew of high-profile cases involving far-right chat groups among police officers and extremism in Germany's military.

What were the key findings?

The report examined 860 suspected cases from July 2018 to June 2021, examining Germany's federal and state security agencies.

The report evaluated suspected incidents of right-wing extremism as well as suspected members of the "Reichsbürger" movement, which does not recognize the authority of the modern German state.

Out of those suspected instances, the report found "concrete evidence" of right-wing extremist activities in 327 cases. This data represents a rise in cases from a preliminary report released in 2020.

The federal agency with the most cases was the German military's intelligence service (MAD), with 83 employees confirmed to have taken part in "individual extremist activities." The Federal Police had the second-highest instance with 18 members.

The extremist activities included participation in right-wing extremist events and taking part in extremist chat groups, as well as having ties to extremist parties and organizations.

In some cases, some security agency members were found to have taken part in Nazi-era chants of "Sieg Heil" or "Heil Hitler," as well as displaying the Hitler salute.

"Each of these cases is one too many," Interior Minister Faeser said at a press conference presenting the report.

She added that the German government won't allow the country's democracy "to be sabotaged from within by right-wing extremists."

Faeser added that over 500 disciplinary actions have been taken against security staff members who were found to have taken part in extremist activities.

rs/rt (AFP, epd)

Fighting right-wing extremism in a town in Saxony