Germany is recruiting hundreds of new police and federal agents for internal intelligence as it steps up the fight against right-wing extremists following several incidents last year, German authorities said on Tuesday.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) will each receive 300 additional workers who will be dedicated specifically to the fight against violence linked to the extreme right.
“Half of the bodily injuries for political reasons are caused by right-wing extremists,” said the minister, adding that there are “at least 12,000 people live in Germany who are potentially violent in the right area.”
“There is a blood trail left by the extreme right that goes from the crimes of the NSU [ National Socialist Underground], goes through the massacre of Munich, continues with the murder of Walter Lubcke and leads to the attack on the Halle synagogue,” he added.
The NSU was responsible for a spate of murders of immigrants in Germany between 2000 and 2007, considered to be some of the worst far-right violence perpetrated in the country since the end of Nazism.
Last October, a man armed with explosives and a weapon tried unsuccessfully to access a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle. He later killed two people, a passer-by and a man in a kebab shop, before being arrested and confessing to being motivated by antisemitic beliefs.
In June, CDU politician Walter Lubke, whose outspoken support for Germany’s welcoming immigration policy had made him a hate figure on the far right was shot dead outside his house.
In his announcement on Tuesday Seehofer also said that the authorities have decided to put several so-called “new right” groups under observation including the Identity Movement, and the youth wing of the Alternative for Deutschland party.
A new “Central Office for the Clarification of Right-Wing Extremist Activities in the Public Service” is also being set up at the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The aim of the new office is to target extremists working within the army and the police, according to Der Standard.