German intelligence classifies Identitarians as right-wing extremists

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-12 01:17:06|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BERLIN, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Germany's domestic intelligence service (BfV) has classified the Identitarian Movement Germany (IBD) as a right-wing extremist group, the BfV announced on Thursday.

The IBD represents a "definite aspiration against the liberal democratic constitution" of Germany, the BfV said.

The BfV has had the IBD under surveillance since June 2016 because several of its members had a right-wing extremist background and had engaged in anti-asylum activities following the refugee crisis in 2015.

"These verbal pyromaniacs question the equality of human beings or even human dignity itself. They talk about foreign infiltration, boost their own identity in order to denigrate others and deliberately stir up enemy stereotypes," said Thomas Haldenwang, president of the BfV.

The positions of the IBD are "not compatible" with the German constitution, according to the BfV. IBD seeks to exclude people with a non-European background from "democratic participation" in Germany and discriminate against them in a manner that "offends human dignity."

In its 2018 annual report, the BfV estimated that there were around 600 IBD members in the country.

Since its foundation in 2012, the IBD has attracted attention through its participation in right-wing extremist marches as well as protest actions. In 2016, members of the IBD displayed a banner at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to protest against what they described as the "Islamization" of Germany through mass immigration.

In a statement published on Thursday, the IBD said its actions would be "under no circumstances anti-constitutional or extremist" and that it distanced itself from right-wing terrorist groups such as Combat 18.

"As an early warning system, we must not only focus our attention on violent extremists," said Haldenwang, adding that BfV would also have to "keep an eye" on those who were playing with "verbal" fire regarding the German constitution.