Germany believes right-wing extremism biggest security threat to nation

Minister Seehofer says number of people in right-wing extremist spectrum grew by 3.8% to 33,300 people last year.

Germany believes right-wing extremism biggest security threat to nation

The German interior minister said on Tuesday that right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism remained the main security threat to the country.

Presenting the annual report of Germany’s domestic secret service (Verfassungsschutz) in Berlin, Horst Seehofer said right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism is “still the greatest threat to security in Germany.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to strengthening the country's right-wing scene as anti-corona protests were exploited by the far-right for their political objectives, he added.

The number of people with extremist attitudes rose again in the country last year, the interior minister pointed out.

Their number increased by 3.8% to 33,300, with nearly 40% of them viewed as violent, willing to use violence, or supportive of violence.

The center-right government of Chancellor Angela Merkel reported last month that the number of crimes committed by right-wing extremists in post-war Germany surged to a record high in 2020.

Authorities recorded 23,604 crimes of a far-right nature last year, an increase of over 5% over the previous year, and the highest figure since records started in 2001.

Germany has witnessed growing racism and xenophobia in recent years, fueled by far-right, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim propaganda, including that of the main opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

For years, migrant campaigners have been criticizing the German government for failing to notice the growing threat posed by right-wing extremists.