Germany tracking 12,700 potentially violent rightist extremists

Berlin (dpa) – Right-wing extremists in Germany number around 24,000, and fully half of them are potentially violent, security officials attached to the Interior Ministry believe, according to a parliamentary reply made public on Friday. Among the 12,700 seen as prepared to commit acts of violence, there are some with an “affinity to weapons,” according to a response to a query from Konstantin Kuhle, spokesman for the interior for the minority liberal opposition party, the Free Democrats (FDP). Speaking to the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper, Kuhle called for “a new concept to counter radicalization over the internet.”

According to the ministry’s response, right-wingers are using the internet to communicate via social networks and messaging services. “These are the platforms on which the scene moves, exchanges and strives to disseminate its propaganda,” it said. Kuhle told the newspaper: “The authorities’ digital competence and equipment must be improved to ensure that communication about rightist extremist attacks does not turn into actual deeds.” The Interior Ministry response said that domestic intelligence officials were viewing several hundred relevant internet presences or profiles and channels relating to right-wing extremists.

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