The German government says it has identified more than 300 employees of national and state military, police and security agencies with links to far-right extremists or similar movements
VIENNA — The German government announced on Friday that it has identified more than 300 employees of national and state military, police and security agencies with links to far-right extremists or similar movements.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior analyzed 860 cases of possible extremist activity from July 2018 to July 2021. Security agencies at the federal level accounted for 176 cases, and 684 at the state level.
Among the activities and actions examined were joining or supporting extremist organizations, posting on social media, attending far-right events, and joining related discussion groups.
The analysis confirmed links to right-wing extremism or movements with a similar ideology, such as the Reichsbürger movement, in 38% of all cases examined.
Reichsbürger, or “Citizens of the Reich”, bears similarities to nationalist citizen movements in the United States and elsewhere. Its supporters reject the authority of the modern German state and promote the notion of “natural rights”, often mixing this ideology with far-right politics and esoteric conspiracy theories.
The more than 300 cases of links to right-wing extremists led to 500 disciplinary actions, including processes to remove people from their positions, during the three-year period, according to the report.
The number of right-wing extremists overall in Germany has increased, not just in law enforcement. Last summer, the Home Office released figures showing the country had 33,300 far-right extremists in 2020, an increase of nearly 4% from the previous year.
Earlier this week, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser presented statistics showing a notable increase in crimes and incidents related to right-wing extremism in Germany, calling it “the greatest danger for people living in this country. “.
“We will not allow our democratic constitutional state to be sabotaged from within by right-wing extremists,” Faeser said.