Updates: 03.03.2021 10:25
Released: 03.03.2021, 10:25
Berlin – German counterintelligence is now monitoring the entire opposition Germany’s Alternative Party (AFD), which has so far been of interest in individual federal states, at the national level due to suspicions of right-wing extremism. Referring to its sources, Der Spiegel magazine wrote today that the view of the party, which is described as right-wing populist to radical, has so far been subject to several restrictions. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), as the German civilian counterintelligence is officially called, has declined to comment on the case for the time being.
At the national level, counterintelligence decided in March last year to watch the nationalist Wing (Der Flügel) within the AfD, because, according to her, the suspicion that it was a group with an extreme right-wing focus was confirmed. Although the wing has formally dissolved in the meantime, this current is still strongly represented in AfD. Due to possible radical attitudes, the secret services in the individual federal states, including Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saxony, gradually became interested in the whole party.
However, according to Der Spiegel magazine, AfD is already considered a suspect of right-wing extremism at the German level. This means that the BfV can track the party using all intelligence procedures, including secret ones. However, due to the backlog of proceedings before the administrative court, counterintelligence undertook not to secretly monitor members of the Federal Assembly, state parliaments and the European Parliament from the AfD, including candidates for this year’s German parliamentary elections, Der Spiegel said.
For the same reason, according to Der Spiegel, counterintelligence must not announce yet that it has included the opposition party on the list of suspects of radical activity. “With regard to the pending proceedings and respect for the court, the BfD does not comment publicly on this matter,” the magazine was quoted as saying by a counterintelligence spokesman. AfD has taken a number of legal steps to prevent the counterintelligence from following it in court.
AfD members have made a number of controversial statements in the past, which have provoked outrage among politicians and the public. Last April, for example, the party got rid of its spokesman, Christian Lüth, when he described himself as a “fascist” and a man of “Aryan descent” in a published private interview. Alexander Gauland, the head of AfD deputies, has spoken in the past that the Nazi era is just a “bird droppings” in successful German history, while Björn Höcke, co-chair of the Thuringian faction of the AfD, criticized the Holocaust memorial in central Berlin as a memorial to shame. “We Germans are the only nation to have planted a monument of shame in their hearts,” he said, referring to a place of reverence in the center of the metropolis near the Brandenburg Gate. In this context, Höcke called for a turnaround in Germany’s approach to recalling its past.