German domestic intelligence service concerned ultra-right groups might form
Given the increasing number of attacks on immigrants in Germany, it cannot be ruled out that ultra-right groups could arise there that would proceed with perpetrating such violence in an organized fashion. Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (BfV), informed the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) of those concerns yesterday.
For the time being, however, Maassen says there is no evidence indicating the creation of coordinated extremist groups working country-wide. After the peak of the migration crisis last year, during which 1.1 million refugees arrived in Germany, attacks on the shelters housing asylum-seekers began to increase there.
Perpetrators in some cases have just verbally assaulted the immigrants being housed in such facilities. However, there have also been dozens of cases of shelters graffitied with Nazi swastikas and incidents of arson.
The BfV says the vast majority of these attacks have an ultra-right motive. The civilian counter-intelligence service focuses primarily on following political and religious extremism and told the DPA that for the time being what is happening should not be considered ultra-right terrorism.
"It can, however, happen that new groups of right-wing terrorists or small groups can form that will plan attacks on asylum-seekers or refugee shelters," Maassen said. The intelligence service says it does not yet have any evidence that such a violent ultra-right group is working throughout all of Germany or even all of Europe.
Maassen said such groups arise locally or through online social networking and he considers it dangerous that the perpetrators of these attacks on refugees include persons who previously had no ties to the ultra-right and who politically previously identified with the Social Democratic Party or the post-communist Left party. Many such people, Maassen said, have succumbed to the populist slogans of the extreme right and have radicalized to such a degree that they have committed violence.
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