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Spy agency doubts far-right network exists

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Spy agency doubts far-right network exists
Photo: DPA
12:19 CEST+02:00
Germany's foreign intelligence agency has said there is no evidence that a Europe-wide network of right-wing extremists is evolving, casting doubt on claims by Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), which is Germany's rough equivalent to the CIA, has not observed any kind of trend towards organised cells of far-right militants, as Breivik claimed in his 1,500-word manifesto.

“Right-wing extremism is nationally stamped,” BND head Ernst Uhrlau told the daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “We have no knowledge of a cross-border militant movement or even an international right-wing terrorism movement developing.”

Breivik wrote in the manifesto that he had met with like-minded extremists in London in 2002 to reconvene a modern Knights Templar, the order of Christian crusaders who fought in the then-Holy Lands, the modern-day Middle East, between the 11th and 13th centuries.

His claims have fuelled fears of further organized, far-right terrorism, although it is not clear that such an organization as the Knights Templar actually exists. Last Friday, Breivik killed 76 people, most of them young members of Norway's ruling Labour Party, in twin shooting and bomb attacks.

Uhrlau told the newspaper that Germany's security services were “very well-set-up to deal with extremism in all its forms.” Intelligence agencies watched the neo-Nazi scene very closely, he added.

His assessment was also supported by an assessment from the Cologne branch of the domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which does not judge Breivik to be a neo-Nazi, according to daily

Süddeutsche Zeitung.

A 10-page report by the Cologne-based agency, sent out to other offices around the country, points out that the ideological positions Breivik had were unclear and diffuse.

Instead, the office classifies him as an anti-Islamic and xenophobic individual perpetrator.

The Local/djw

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