Dhe Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann sees the current parallelism of several major crises as a danger of political extremism growing stronger, regardless of the specific orientation. “Extremists love crises,” said the CSU politician on Thursday at the presentation of information for the protection of the Constitution for the first half of the year. Crises are an “ideal breeding ground for sowing mistrust in the state”.
After the Corona protests subsided, the Russian war of aggression also determined the discussion in the extremist scenes. The “question of guilt” and how to deal with those who fled from the Ukraine were primarily discussed.
Try to appear more civil
Two different developments can be observed in the right-wing extremist scene: Efforts to undermine society’s defense mechanisms through a more moderate outward appearance. One example was the attempt by the NPD federal board, which narrowly failed, to give the party a more bourgeois look, for example by renaming it “Die Heimat”. On the other hand, other new groups such as the “New Strength Party” (NSP) openly presented neo-Nazi narratives to the public.
Two days ago it became known that the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution had begun to monitor the AfD in the Free State using intelligence tools, for example by infiltrating informants. According to Herrmann, the findings that led to the observation of the AfD as a whole party by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution also apply to Bavaria. The AfD strives to preserve the German people in their “ethical existence” and accordingly to exclude “ethnic strangers” from the German people.
The interior minister emphasized that the members of the AfD parliamentary group were not under surveillance. The requirements developed for this by the Federal Constitutional Court, such as particularly aggressive action against the constitutional order, have not yet been met.
Burkhard Körner, President of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, explained how parliamentarians are dealt with in practice: “The core area” of the activities of parliamentarians should not be observed with intelligence tools, at least “not in a targeted manner”. But that also means that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution can very well use “accidental knowledge” about the deputies, which it obtains when observing others, for example in a chat room. So one should not infiltrate into internal parliamentary group meetings in the state parliament, but into internal meetings of a district board of the party.
In the area of left-wing extremism, the constitutional protection officers recognize a certain disappointment that the scene, which was also evident at the G-7 summit at Schloss Elmau, did not succeed in establishing a lasting connection to democratic protest movements, especially the climate protection movement. Russia’s attack on Ukraine also irritated the scene, but did nothing to change the agitation against Western states and NATO.
Herrmann warned against underestimating Islamism. In this context, he called on Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) to reconsider the announced closure of the Political Islamism Expert Group.