Officials said on Wednesday that German domestic intelligence agencies have regarded the far-right “German alternative” as a potential threat to German democracy, which laid the foundation for the battle between the country and the party that is the main opposition to the parliament.
This is the first time in post-war German history that a political party has undergone such strict scrutiny on behalf of a party in the Bundestag. This highlights an uneasy question facing German institutions: what to do with a party that is considered a danger to democracy? Is it popular in parts of the country and is already deeply entrenched on all political levels?
As we all know, the party’s German alternative leaders often accused Muslim immigrants as criminals, attacked the press and questioned the universalist principles of liberal democracy.
During the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Department of Defense officials participated in protests that sometimes turned violent. In one case, protesters were infiltrated into a parliament building. However, even as it becomes more radical, the party already has a place in the national parliament and state legislatures.
People are paying more and more attention to the party’s position. The well-known domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office of Constitutional Protection, has spent two years scrutinizing the speeches and social media posts of U.S. Department of Defense officials.
A year ago, intelligence agencies classified the party’s most radical factions and their youth organizations as extremists and said they would monitor some of its most influential leaders.
Officials said that since then, this radical faction is suspected of expanding its influence within the party, prompting the agency to conduct an extremist investigation of the entire party. The latest decision has not yet classified the US Department of Defense as an extremist, but it provides a clear way for the agency to monitor its existence.
AfD members responded angrily on Wednesday, vowing to take legal measures and implying that the move was politically motivated.
“When it comes to AfD, intelligence agencies are acting purely politically,” Alice Weidel, a prominent party leader, wrote on Twitter. “Given that this year’s state and federal elections were particularly outstanding.”
Another U.S. Department of Defense Congressman, Jürgen Braun (Jürgen Braun) also expressed a similar theme. He wrote on Twitter: “You know that you live in Germany. A week and a half before two important regional elections and a few months before the national election, the domestic secret service announced that the largest opposition party was suspicious.” Say.
The decision was reached on Thursday, but has not yet been publicly announced, waiting for the United States Agency for International Development to file a lawsuit to stop measures against it.
Last month, an administrative court in Cologne ruled that the Intelligence Agency (herein referred to as the Federal Agency for the Protection of the Constitution) or its German acronym BfV was allowed to start investigating AfD’s extremist behavior.
The agency will not comment on the case on Wednesday. But given the sensitivity of the ongoing court case, a German official who requested anonymity confirmed the decision.
The intelligence agency said in an email statement: “Due to the ongoing legal process and out of respect for the court, BfV has not issued any public statement on this matter.”
After the Second World War, the purpose of the Federal Constitutional Protection Office was to prevent the rise of political forces (mainly another Nazi party) that might once again threaten German democracy.
The chairman of the agency, Thomas Haldenwang, after marking part of the AfD as extremists, said at a press conference last year: “We take this mission very seriously.”
He said: “We know from the history of Germany that far-rightism not only destroys human lives, but also destroys democracy.” “Ultra-right extremism and far-right terrorism are currently the greatest danger to German democracy.”