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Third situation report: 364 suspected right-wing extremists in security agencies

Third situation report: 364 suspected right-wing extremists in security agencies
Third situation report: 364 suspected right-wing extremists in security agencies

When police officers or intelligence service employees are caught making extremist statements, the alarm bell rings. A report shows that this applies to less than one percent of employees.

Over the course of one and a half years, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has dealt with a total of 739 cases involving employees of the security authorities in which indications of possible right-wing extremist attitudes and activities have emerged. In around every second case (49 percent), actual evidence of efforts against the free democratic basic order was found, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution states in its current report on right-wing extremists in the security authorities. The report looks at the period from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022 and takes both state and federal authorities into account.

According to the information, the most common types of abuse identified were extremist statements in social media or chats, politically motivated insults, and contacts with or membership in extremist organizations and parties or support for them. Violent acts were only noticed in a few cases.

Of a total of 364 employees for whom there was concrete evidence of violations of the free democratic basic order, 175 were employed by the federal security authorities. According to the report, 189 cases were attributable to the state authorities. However, the Federal Ministry of the Interior points out that more than half of both the suspected cases and the cases in which actual evidence was found were cases that were already reported in the previous situation report. The reason for this is the often long duration of disciplinary and labor law proceedings. For the federal government, these could be accelerated by the reform of the Federal Disciplinary Act that came into force on April 1.

Danger from soldiers and police in the “Reichsbürger” milieu

“There are only a few cases compared to the more than 384,000 employees in the federal government alone,” stresses Faeser. Nevertheless, it is important that we look closely at this. Thanks to good cooperation between state and federal authorities, extremist issues have also been discovered that were previously unknown to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, reports BfV President Thomas Haldenwang. He said: “The ‘Reich Citizens’ group around Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss has shown the specific dangers posed by extremists who are or were employed in the public service.”

Reuss and his alleged co-conspirators are accused of being members of a terrorist organization or of supporting it. They are said to have planned an armed coup. The members of the group knowingly accepted the risk of deaths, according to the indictment.

Fewer suspected cases due to lack of awareness of the problem

However, the figures published by Haldenwang’s authority do not only reflect the extent of the phenomenon in the security authorities of each federal state, but also the awareness of the problem that prevails locally. In other words: where superiors tend to look the other way or trivialize right-wing extremist incidents, there are automatically fewer suspected cases.

Berlin has the highest proportion of suspected cases on record – measured by the number of employees – at 0.67 percent. In August 2020, a “concept for the internal prevention and combating of possible extremist tendencies” was presented in the federal capital, according to which employees are obliged to report such facts. In Hesse, the proportion was 0.2 percent, in Saxony 0.13 percent.

Union calls for more support for those wrongfully accused

According to the information, 16 new cases were reported at the Federal Police, which had around 54,000 employees during the period under review. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), where significantly fewer officers work, each identified two suspected right-wing extremists. Among the 263,000 people who worked in the Ministry of Defense’s area of ​​responsibility, 53 so-called old cases and 75 new cases were examined in the one-and-a-half years.

Civil servants who do not act in accordance with the free democratic basic order must leave the service as quickly as possible under the rule of law, says the Federal Chairman of the Police Union (GdP), Jochen Kopelke. “Public service employees must be resilient to populist, racist and extremist influences,” he stresses. However, it is also important that the employer ensures the complete rehabilitation of those wrongly accused in the event of false suspicions and unjustified disciplinary proceedings.

Source: Stern

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