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Neo-Nazi crime spikes

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Neo-Nazi crime spikes
Photo: DPA
17:04 CEST+02:00
Germany's domestic intelligence agency monitored a 15.8 percent increase in right-wing extremist crime last year, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said in Berlin on Tuesday.

Law enforcement logged 19,894 such incidents, 1,042 of which were violent crimes, the yearly study found.

The most dangerous of these groups are the so-called autonomist neo-Nazis, who have styled themselves after the left-wing, anti-fascist Autonomen, or “Black Bloc.” These neo-Nazis are known to turn up at Black Bloc demonstrations and have a high “violence potential,” Schäuble said.

Some 83 percent of right-wing extremist crimes fall into the categories of propaganda and incitement, while 5.2 percent are violent, he added.

The number of alleged neo-Nazis also rose from 400 to 4,800 – and this group is having an ever-greater influence on the nationalist NPD party.

But Schäuble said banning the party would create a boomerang effect and be the “dumbest thing one could do to fight the NPD.”

Though the number of their violent crimes has gone down 15.8 percent in the last year, Schäuble emphasised that left-wing anarchists remain a major security risk in Germany. Rioting and attacks on police by anti-government groups like Aktionsfeld Antimilitarismus reached a “frightening abandon” during May 1 celebrations, he said.

The interior minister also mentioned that Islamists – particularly second generation immigrants and radical converts – are travelling from Germany to Pakistan for training by terror organisations such as al Qaida. Germany remains “directly in the sights” of Islamist terror groups, according to the report.

Meanwhile an NPD party candidate in the southern city of Trier allegedly took part in beating three young men in retaliation for tearing down NPD posters, police said Tuesday.

The city council candidate, Safet Babic, and a group of neo-Nazis attacked the men, beating a 21-year-old so badly he had to be hospitalised. They are under investigation for assault.

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