Minister warns of violent far-right in Germany
Germany's interior minister warned that the homegrown far-right scene had a dangerous fringe potentially capable of mounting attacks such as those in Norway, in an interview published Wednesday.
Hans-Peter Friedrich of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc told the daily Rheinische Post that although the number of right-wing extremists was on the decline in Germany, the number prepared to use violence was rising.
"I am particularly worried about the so-called 'national anarchists' who take leftist anarchists as their example," he said.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the chief intelligence service, says Germany has about 1,000 "national anarchists", mainly young neo-Nazis prepared to use violence to advance their ideology.
Friedrich said it was possible that such extremists could plan and carry out an assault similar to the twin attacks that killed 76 people in Norway for which a man espousing far-right links claimed responsibility.
"Even if we monitor the scene intensively, it cannot be ruled out that individuals have secretly become radicalised," he said, adding that this applied to the far right but also the far left and Islamist groups.
"There are a few dangerous people among the right-wing extremists but the problem is not those we have an eye on but rather those who go radical underground."
Friedrich had said in an interview published Sunday, two days after the Norway attacks, that there were no signs of a neo-Nazi "terrorist" threat in Germany.
© 2011 AFP