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Polish authorities arrested a German man who posted extremist views on social media and was found with TNT and ammunition. His arrest is part of a probe into an international organized terrorist group, prosecutors said.
The suspect, referred to as "Jürgen K," was arrested last week in northern Poland and had published extremist views on social media, Poland's Internal Security Agency said.
Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesman for the agency, said the man is accused of belonging to "an organized criminal group of a terrorist nature."
The man also publicly supported "radical, anti-system views and right-wing extremist organizations," according to PAP.
A search of Jürgen K's place of work found two cubes of TNT weighing 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds) as well as ammunition, firearms, a teargas canister and a grenade, according to prosecutors.
Authorities charged him with possession of arms and explosives without a permit and he was placed in preventive detention for three months. The suspect faces up to eight years in prison.
His arrest is part of an ongoing investigation by the National Prosecutor's Office into the "activities of an organized terrorist group" operating in Poland and other countries, Zaryn told PAP.
Authorities ignored signs of infiltration by far-right elements, say campaigners
Germany’s first nationwide report into rightwing extremism in the security services has revealed hundreds of incidents across the police and military that contravened the country’s constitution.
Horst Seehofer, the interior minister, sought to downplay the incidence of extremism in the forces, at the same time as insisting that each case was a “disgrace” and that a “no tolerance” policy would be exercised against personnel who broke the rules.
He said police, soldiers and other officials had a “role model function” and even a single incident had the effect of bringing all uniformed officials into disrepute.
The 98-page report itself stated that while the absolute figures appeared low compared with the number of employees in the security forces, “it can basically be assumed that there is also a dark field” of unknown extremists.
It recommended the security forces take the problem more seriously, saying both “state and society are in considerable danger if an official who is armed becomes an extremist”.
Seehofer had been criticised by anti-racism campaigners for refusing to allow an independent study, calling instead on members of the domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which is overseen by his ministry, to carry it out.
The report comes after a series of recent revelations that have exposed racist chat groups and other activities within security authorities, mainly involving the police.
The report was commissioned following several violent incidents that shocked the nation last year, including the fatal shooting of a pro-immigration politician by a suspected far-right extremist outside his home near Kassel, and a murderous attack targeting a synagogue and a kebab store in the city of Halle by a gunman with antisemitic views. Questions have been asked as to whether authorities did enough to stop the attackers.
Politicians and anti-racist campaigners have called on the interior minister to take a detailed look at the issues as a matter of urgency amid concerns that authorities have consistently ignored signals that violent extremists might be trying to infiltrate the uniformed services.
Seehofer told a news conference in Berlin on Tuesday morning that 99% of security personnel “stand firmly anchored in the law”. He said: “We are only dealing here with a minor number of cases.”
Anti-racism campaigners poured scorn on his analysis, after it was revealed that there were 1,064 cases among military personnel, compiled separately by the military secret service MAD, 550 of which are being actively pursued, and 370 separate incidents among police and intelligence officers.
Between January 2017 and the end of March 2020, there were 319 suspected cases of rightwing extremism on a state level, in addition to 58 suspected cases among federal security services, including 44 cases in the police, six in the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and a handful in the customs authorities, the office for the protection of the constitution and the federal intelligence service.
The worst-affected state is Hesse with 59 incidents, followed by Berlin with 53, North Rhine-Westphalia (45), Bavaria (31) and Saxony (28).
Since the data gathering was completed at the end of March, more than 125 new incidents across the country have come to light.
The majority of cases had led to either criminal proceedings or disciplinary measures including sackings being taken against the individuals involved, although 20% of the criminal cases had been discontinued.
Often cases involved security force employees sharing symbols or pictures deemed to be anti-constitutional, such as swastikas, or expressing rightwing extremist remarks. Only in a few cases did officers concerned have contact with known rightwing extremists or organised groups, or had participated in rightwing extremist events.
Thomas Haldenwang, the president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, who jointly presented the report with Seehofer, said the spectrum of cases was “large” and the accusations against the individuals “very heterogeneous”, but he said most of them broadly fell into categories with “typical rightwing extremist hallmarks”, such as racism, antisemitism and glorifying National Socialism.
He said he would continue to analyse the results of the study and would look for any connections that might suggest individuals were forming networks within the forces.
“We can guarantee that we will not view these cases in isolation,” he said.
Seehofer called for authorities to make a “consistent effort” to get to the bottom of the cases and to “rigorously” pursue any suspected ones. He also urged all employees across the security services to “keep your eyes open, defend our constitution, be active. Passive collaboration is not allowed.”
Seehofer insisted the report would not be a one-off. He called for a similar model of inquiry to be applied across the entire public sector, and to result in a “deeper analysis”. However, he stopped short of calling on further investigation specifically into racism within the security forces, insisting “racism is a universal topic”.
The primary task of the establishment media, not just in Germany but all over the West, is to make sure that nobody thinks ill of Islam or of the enterprise of mass Muslim migration into the West. It clearly doesn’t matter to them how much they have to bend the truth to fulfill this task.
Germany: Muslim migrant attempts jihad bombing, media presents him as native German
This was once again marveled at yesterday in an exemplary manner in the case of the attempted terrorist attack at the Cologne-Deutz train station on Saturday before last: The Cologne police arrested a 21-year-old suspect in the matter. There are now only two options for reporting on such cases: Either the often-used phrase “a man” follows, with complete anonymization of the perpetrator’s ethnicity and origin.
Or – if it is a “potato” or native German, then naming the nationality is not only unproblematic, but an obligation in order to preventatively defuse “racist” prejudices. Therefore it is all the more astonishing what regional media from North Rhine-Westphalia made of the police report: They informed us that the perpetrator was a “young Lüdenscheider”. This remarkable formulation was used not only at WDR and in various Cologne daily newspapers, but also in “DerWesten”.
The headline already mentioned the “Sauerlander” who had meanwhile confessed to having deposited the explosive device in the toilet of a regional train. His motive is “disturbing” and “bitter”: he had acted “out of dissatisfaction with his precarious social situation”, according to the police; with his act he had “wanted to attract public attention”. So everything was quite harmless – had it not been for the former President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen, who spoke out and spoiled the beautiful idyll of the German bomber with a little background information:
The offense that above in cj's post quoted person did was "Disturbing public peace by threatening to commit offences". (Section 126, German Criminal Code [§ 126 StGB])
The ruling parties of the German go ernment, theconservative Christian Democrats and the center-left Social Democrats, as well as the opposition parties, the Green party and the Left party, put forward the motion to construction of in Berlin, to commemorate all victims of Nazi Germany's war of extermination, including those in Eastern European nations affected by the Nazi occupation.
Only the far-right populist opposition party AfD ("Alternative for Germany") opposed the new memorial, saying a monument to German victims of the Second World War should be erected instead.
For a change, try reading. But caution: it might scare you.
The threat of far-right plots is now only second to Islamic terrorism, he says
The head of MI5 has warned that violent right-wing extremism is now a major threat facing the country, with more than a quarter of serious terrorist attacks stopped in the final stages linked neo-fascist and racist groups.
The danger is likely to continue in the near future, he warned, with worrying numbers of young people attracted to the ideology and increasing evidence of international links between the groups including with those in the US – a country which has seen an alarming rise in political strife in the run up to the presidential election.
Ken McCallum was giving his first public assessment of the threats facing the UK, from terrorist groups and hostile states, after taking over as the Director General of the Security Service in April this year.
Speaking to a group of journalists, the Director General said that MI5 was engaged along with other British intelligence agencies in protecting research being carried out into the coronavirus. He pointed to broader illicit activities such as cyber attacks by countries such as Russia, China and Iran and said that Beijing had sought to steal commercial and intellectual property as well as influence politics here.
Turning to the threat to life being faced in the country, Mr McCallum said eight out of 27 terrorist plots stopped in this country as they approached fruition in the last three years were by hard-right extremists. That threat was now only second only to Islamist terrorism, and the trend was likely to continue, he said.
Mr McCallum disclosed he had been liaising with the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray, as well as allied European security chiefs, about the rise of violent hard-eight activity, and measures being taken to counter it.
Neo-fascist terrorism was now of more immediate concern on Germany than Islamist attacks, said Mr McCallum. There has also been vicious strife in the US against a background of an aggressive and toxic political scene as Donald Trump fights to stay in the White House in next month’s election.
Far-right activists have been charged with killings of anti-racist protestors and wider terrorist plots in America. In the most highly publicised case so far, the FBI charged 13 people with plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. The same group, say prosecutors, also discussed abducting Virginia governor, Ralph Northam.
Extremists in the UK may not be in touch with their American counterparts in a “structured, organised way ... but they are in contact because a lot of this poison is being spread online”, said the Director General. “People draw inspiration, and share links and use online to chat. We see connections to the US and UK and also to the US and Europe.”
“We see quite a lot of growth of these threats, including in particular, quite a few young people being attracted to this ideology, which does tend to suggest that this threat will be with us for some years to come, and so we will continue to see this evolve in the years to come ... lots of online, young people involved and quite a lot of bitty, but meaningful, international connectivity.”
Speaking of the situation in the UK, the Director General stated: “We operate entirely the same system as on Islamist extremist terrorism, with cases pursued by the same counter-terrorist professionals within the same part of the MI5/police machine, operating to the same thresholds, prioritised on the basis of threat and risk rather than ideology.
The threat of far-right plots is now only second to Islamic terrorism, he says