Germany announces new measures to target extremist groups News
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Germany announces new measures to target extremist groups

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced Tuesday that a package of new measures will be considered to tackle the rise of far-right extremism.

These new measures are part of a 13-point plan and are both preventive and repressive. They include the financial tracking of right-wing extremist groups in addition to the creation of a special unit called the ”early recognition unit” designed to detect far-right disinformation campaigns.

New laws will be created to allow German authorities to freeze the bank accounts of extremists and cut their funding models.Faeser pointed out that the Interior Ministry was not able to investigate the financing of extremism before because investigations were limited to inciting and violence-oriented movements but from now on, a potential threat will be sufficient ground to start such investigations. New laws will be created to allow German authorities to freeze extremists’ bank accounts more easily thanks to faster and less bureaucratic proceedings. Furthermore, donations to extremist groups will be tracked.

The “early recognition unit,” which will become operative in a few months, will allow the government to detect manipulation and disinformation campaigns launched by far-right extremist groups using AI-generated photos and fake accounts. The minister also wants to disarm right-wing extremists. Membership in an organization that is considered suspect by domestic intelligence may lead to the revocation of authorization to carry weapons. Moreover, semi-automatic weapons similar to weapons of war will be banned and crossbows will be subject to authorization.

To sum up, Minister Nancy Faeser concluded that the government wants to use “all the instruments of the rule of law” to protect democracy.

This package of legal measures follows the series of mass demonstrations that occurred in January against the far-right political party Alternative für Deutschland (AFD) after the revelation of a “secret” meeting held by the latter where a remigration plan against asylum seekers  and refugees was discussed. 

Most of Faeser’s proposals were part of her 2022 “action plan against extremism” that was blocked by her political partners and Parliament. However, with the increase of the number of extremists and politically motivated crimes in Germany, and being backed by the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of The Constitution and the President of the Federal Criminal Police Office, the minister hopes that this time her measures will be adopted.