German intelligence fears new wave of far-left terrorism

A new wave of far-left terrorism is very much within the realm of possibilities, according to a report released by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, on political extremism.

According to a report from the German newspaper Die Welt, the BfV states that the “intensity of acts of violence” has increased, and that “the development of terrorist structures in left-wing extremism” is conceivable.

The report also notes that targeted killings of political opponents is no longer “unthinkable” as result of the increased radicalization among those who travel in far-left circles.

The rising trend of far-left radicalization has been witnessed in several of Germany’s states. A number of extremist groups who are “increasingly willing to use violence” have splintered off from the more “mainstream” far-left groups around the country. “A small part of the violence-oriented left-wing extremist scene is becoming increasingly radicalized,” the BfV notes.

While the federal states of Saxony, Berlin, and Hamburg have been hotspots for left-wing radicals for a while now, the BfV notes that widespread radicalization among left-wingers is now occurring in Bavaria, Thuringia, North Westphalia, and Bremen.

Despite the alarming trend, the interior minister for the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia, Herbert Reul (CDU), continues to downplay the problem, arguing the right-wing extremism poses a greater threat.

“The extreme right is still a greater threat to our democracy,” Reul states, “but we must not lose sight of this new left-wing extremism and radicalism.”

Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s Senator for Home Affairs and a member of the Social Democrat Party (SDP), also commented on the situation, saying: “Targeted actions, including acts of violence in many cases, are intended to intimidate state and private actors – especially the police, parties and real estate companies.”

Geisel added that certain sectors within the left-wing extremist scene in Berlin would “continue to act violently and take less and less consideration for the life and limb of those affected.”

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