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Germany: Federal police's plan to fight far-right extremism

August 19, 2019

Germany's federal criminal police agency wants to overhaul the structures it uses to fight far-right groups and hate crimes, media reports say. The organization sees a growing threat of militant extremism in the country.

Right-wing demonstration in Chemnitz
Image: picture alliance/dpa/S. Willnow

Germany's Federal Criminal Police (BKA) wants to set up a new central unit to fight right-wing extremism and hate crimes, research conducted by German media outlets WDR, NDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung showed.    

They examined a BKA planning paper and concluded that the agency wants to set up the new unit in the state security policing (ST) division. An additional 440 jobs are expected to be created for the purpose.

Read more: 'Germany has a terrorism problem,' foreign minister says

The BKA proposal suggests putting in place a system that helps identify far-right extremist groups and their networks at an early stage. It also recommends better coordination between various national and international bodies dealing with the problem. The plan foresees setting up a risk assessment system, called "RADAR-rechts" ("radar right") for violent right-wing extremists, similar to the one that's being used to identify Islamist terrorists.

As evidence of the rising danger, BKA pointed to incidents like the murder of local German politician Walter Lübcke, who was shot dead in an apparent act of right-wing violence, as well as the shooting attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

With regard to hate crimes on the internet, the BKA plans to strengthen monitoring of the cyber space to better identify the originators of hate and threat messages and take preventative action.

Right-wing attacks in Germany

Rise in far-right violent crimes

Germany is facing a heightened risk of right-wing extremism, with authorities registering 8,605 right-wing extremist offenses in the first half of 2019, according to figures released by the Interior Ministry.

Compared to the first half of 2018, an increase of 900 far-right crimes was recorded during the same period this year, the ministry said in response to a parliamentary enquiry.

Read more: Opinion: German politician's killing must be a wake-up call

Authorities also recorded a small rise in the number of far-right extremists and the number of far-right violent crimes in 2018.

The 2018 report by Germany's domestic security agency (BfV) found that there were 24,100 right-wing extremists in Germany — 100 more than in 2017 — of whom 12,700 were considered "violence-orientated." And the number of violent crimes committed by known right-wing extremists rose by 3.2%, from 1,054 to 1,088, according to the report.

sri/ng (dpa, epd, AFP)

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