German authorities have warned that the threat of right-wing attacks in Germany is mounting, with the number of extremists and fringe groups increasing by 50 per cent over the past two years.
“Right-wing extremist structures today are as dangerous for our democracy as they were in 1945,” Konstantin von Notz, a German legislator with the environmentalist Green Party, told newspaper Welt am Sonntag, which first reported the development.
In its analysis of extremist activity, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic security agency, reported that traditional extremist groups have fragmented in recent years, giving way to fringe groups and potential lone-wolf attackers.
Exchanges between such groups over the internet heightens the risk of “mobilization and conspiracy,” the report said, adding that authorities must now bolster their surveillance of online forums.
“They are developing in different currents and spectra of the right-wing extremist scene, but also on the fringe or entirely outside of organized right-wing extremist tableaus,” the report said.
Authorities are currently surveilling 33 individuals or fringe groups with the potential of carrying out terror attacks, up from 22 just two years ago.
Such individuals are predominantly male, around 30 years old and have been obsessed with news reports about refugees and Muslims since 2015, the peak of the refugee crisis.