Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, has announced at a press conference that a radical faction of the populist far right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been placed under surveillance by Germany’s security services. BfV added that it was now actively monitoring the Flügel faction of the AfD because it had “extremist” tendencies. Flügel, which is also known as “wing”, is a group within the AfD which is pertinently strong in eastern Germany and has become highly controversial in recent months, as per reports.
Breaking news from #Germany: federal domestic intelligence service (BfV) now officially regards the Höcke "wing" of the far right AfD party as right wing #extremist association. Will therefore start systematically monitoring it w/ all tools at disposal. https://t.co/uF15ZMkDQ3— GIRDS (@GIRD_S) March 12, 2020
It’s unclear how many civil servants there are exactly among the AfD’s 35,000 members, but it’s been recruiting among the military and the police. Theoretically, this week‘s classification of its Höcke-helmed „wing“ as extreme right should hinder that. https://t.co/wZurlLFqTM— Yuliya Komska (@ykomska) March 12, 2020
Thomas Haldenwang, Chief of the Intelligence Wing, announced at a press conference that right-wing extremism and right-wing terrorism are currently the biggest danger to democracy in Germany. Flügel is led by Björn Höcke, a controversial MP for Thuringia. The MP was at the centre of a scandal that rocked German politics last month, as per German news reports.
The domestic intelligence service describes Flügel as an extremist organisation, had some 7,000 members, or 20% of the AfD membership. According to the reports, Höcke has long been accused of inflammatory rhetoric against Islam and immigrants. He triggered uproar last month by doing a deal in Thuringia with a liberal FDP politician, Thomas Kemmerich, who became the region's prime minister thanks to AfD and Christian Democrat (CDU) votes.
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