Germany’s security services to investigate whether far-right AfD party becoming too extreme, report says

Group has repeatedly been accused of antisemitism and Islamophobia

Tuesday 15 January 2019 16:35 GMT
A member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party arrives for the AfD congress
A member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party arrives for the AfD congress (Getty Images)

Germany’s domestic spy agency will investigate the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party to determine the extent to which it has right-wing extremist motives, it has been reported.

The AfD, Germany’s main opposition party, has been flagged as a “case to investigate” by the spy agency BfV, due to their suspected ties to extremists.

The anti-Europe party stands on a nationalist platform and has been repeatedly accused of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Germany's constitution contains strict safeguards against extremism, allowing for the close monitoring and even the outlawing of far-left or far-right parties.

The BfV will look at public statements made by AfD members and their emerging links to the far-right right identitarian movement, which says it wants to prevent cultural assimilation in Europe, according to a 450-page report seen by German newspaper Der Tagespiegel.

The investigation is unlikely to involve full-on surveillance of the AfD.

A BfV spokesman said he could not confirm the report, but did say the agency would hold a news conference on the matter.

German foreign minister Heiko Maas alluded to the report on Twitter.

"Whoever discriminates against people on the basis of their origins is being racist and nationalist. Parts of the AfD are a case for the domestic intelligence office," he tweeted.

"But observing them won't solve the problems. Above all we need to deal with the AfD objectively and politically."

In September, the German state of Thuringia said it would examine whether a regional group of the AfD was pursuing unconstitutional goals.

This followed comments by Bjoern Hoecke, a state AfD leader, in which he decried Germany's main memorial to Holocaust victims as a "monument of shame".

The states of Lower Saxony and Bremen have also said their own security services will look into the party due to suspected ties to extremists.

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