“Wing” is driving the radicalization of the AfD forward

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Constitutional protection chief Haldenwang is concerned about new anti-democratic tendencies. To prevent right-wing terrorist acts, virtual agents should help.


Concerned: Constitutional Protection President Thomas Haldenwang


© Photo: imago images / Jürgen Heinrich
Concerned: Constitutional Protection President Thomas Haldenwang

Despite the formal dissolution of the right-wing extremist party stream “Der Flügel”, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution sees an increasing influence and thus an increasing radicalization of the AfD. “The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution perceives that many supporters of the right-wing extremist” wing ” fight for more influence in the party, although the “wing” has allegedly dissolved itself, “said President Thomas Haldenwang, in an interview with the” Tagesspiegel “.

In internal party elections, supporters of the “wing” would hold key positions. “The influence of the” wing “is increasing, even if the AfD tries to remove clearly recognizable right-wing extremists such as the former” wing “spokesman Andreas Kalbitz from the party.” There is still great cohesion and exchange within the former “wing”.

“The defining personality of the” wing “is Björn Höcke. He operates a subliminal anti-Semitism. He mentions George Soros in the same breath as the world conspiracy and the corona development,” said Haldenwang.

“Every German has the right to put on an aluminum hat”

He does not rule out that the right wing QAnon movement, which US President Donald Trump revered as a savior and also on the Demonstrations against the state corona measures is gaining popularity in Germany, could become a new object of observation. “A lot of conspiracy theory is permitted under the umbrella of the Basic Law. At QAnon we are still examining where this is going and how the following is made up, “said the top constitutional protector and emphasized:” First of all, every German has the right to put on an aluminum hat. “

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Use of virtual agents

As a lesson from right-wing extremist attacks like in Hanau and Halle The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is relying on more virtual agents in order to track down radicalized individual perpetrators earlier. “We are on the move with virtual agents on relevant platforms and observe whether actors with extremist statements attract attention,” said Haldenwang.

“Employees of the protection of the constitution act with a legend as if they were part of the scene. In the expectation that scene members open up and we then gain knowledge.” People like the Halle assassin, Stephan Balliet, often lived in isolation. “Balliet had a lot of time to sit in a quiet little room in front of the computer and live in a parallel world. He was intensely active in the gaming scene, but also dealt with right-wing extremist ideas,” said Haldenwang. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is also making targeted advertising at “Gamescom” in Cologne, the world’s largest trade fair for computer and video games. “After the last Gamescom we received over 200 applications,” said Haldenwang.

Request for online search

He would like the legislature to have more opportunities for espionage overall. “There is a lack of suitable instruments in our tool kit. In particularly extreme cases, we must be able to carry out online searches or use a Trojan, ”emphasized Haldenwang. “Without the necessary tools, our options for action are limited in an increasingly difficult time. That is a decision of the legislature. He recalled the case of the ricin bomb bomber who wanted to carry out an Islamist attack in Cologne, which could only be thwarted thanks to tips from another secret service. “If we had been able to do an online search early on or if we had been able to follow the events on their devices with the help of a Trojan horse, then we would have known that they had obtained bomb-making instructions,” emphasized Haldenwang. “Then we would have seen that certain ingredients were ordered from Amazon. That they asked IS how these bomb building instructions should now be understood. Then one could have intervened much earlier.”

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New quality of violence also in the left-wing extremist milieu

In view of the evacuation of the house project “Liebig 34”, which was only achieved with massive police action, the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, warns of a new quality of violence also in the left-wing extremist milieu. “The violence in left-wing extremism is becoming increasingly brutal and personal,” said Haldenwang. “After the dissolution of the RAF, there was a long consensus in the scene not to use violence against people, which can also be fatal. There is now a change of heart“Police officers would be lured into ambushes, as in Berlin or Leipzig, in order to attack them.” Also think of the construction cranes that were set on fire in Leipzig, which then threatened to topple over on residential buildings. The scene accepts that, and that is the new quality in violent left-wing extremism that we have to talk about. “

“I can see well on the left too”

In the struggle for autonomous freedom, such as in “Liebig 34”, more serious violent crimes are occurring. “I’m reasonably sure that that wasn’t the end of it.” Haldenwang criticized the fact that some politicians did not adequately condemn left-wing extremist violence. For the protection of the constitution, it is important not to be blind in any eye: “I have new glasses again and my visual acuity has been intensified again on the right. But I can tell you: I can see well on the left too,” emphasized Haldenwang, the successor to the controversial Georg Maassen is.

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