Cases of extremism in the German military increased last year, according to a report released by the defense committee of the German parliament. There were 477 episodes investigated in 2020, an increase of 30% over the previous year, according to data from the military counter-intelligence service. Cases linked to neo-Nazism dropped from 16 to 31
For committee chairwoman Eva Högl, the figures show that action against far-right influences must be stepped up. “There needs to be education, sanctions and prevention, in a coherent, coherent and rapid manner,” she said.
Introducing the report, Högl criticized the alleged omissions in the investigation into the far-right infiltration of one of Germany’s main elite troops, the Special Forces Command (KSK).
With one of its four units dismantled and under renovation, the KSK is under pressure to have soldiers amnestied who have stolen weapons and ammunition, allowing them to return them without punishment. It is estimated that up to 48,000 cartridges and 62 kilograms of explosives were diverted.
According to the Commissioner, transparency and the fight against impunity are fundamental to the fight against extremism, even if this only concerns the minority of German soldiers. The report also states that the general aging of the German army is hampering the military counterintelligence service. The body should have been expanded to tackle growing extremism, but it was unable to find candidates.
HATE SPEECH IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
The risk of extremism was also the subject of an official report in the UK on Wednesday (24), produced by the Counter-Extremism Commission (CCE). “Extremist groups, be they neo-fascists, neo-Nazis, Islamists or others, can operate legally and with impunity and actively radicalize others,” said Commissioner Sara Khan. According to the CEC, UK law needs to be strengthened to prevent hate speech and the escalation of violence it encourages.
Khan said that since the terrorist attacks of 2005, the British government has been unable to contain extremist groups because of a lack of a legal framework to frame its propaganda and activities. Previous attempts to fill this gap have been abandoned because they threaten freedom of speech and other civil liberties.
According to Khan, however, the CTE’s proposal “will ensure the protection of freedom of expression and at the same time curb the dangerous activity of hate extremism.” For the group, UK law should elevate hate extremism to a priority threat alongside terrorism and online sexual exploitation of children, and start criminalizing possession of terrorist or extremist material in the same way as it does. applied to cases of pedophilia.
“Not only have our laws failed to address the growing threat of modern extremism, but current legal limits allow extremists to operate with impunity, recruiting more and more terrorists and increasing tensions between and within communities, ”said Mark Rowley, leader of the national counter. -the police of terrorism.
According to the study, 20% of young men polled in a 2020 survey said they did not believe in the Holocaust, and many are influenced by hate speech on social media.
The commission also said that anti-Semitism among the young is five times that of the voter among the elders.
Among the problems reported is the circulation of texts on a fictitious “white genocide”, which is said to be aimed at inciting hatred against blacks and Muslims, but which is not hindered by law so as not to directly incite violence.
The CCE proposed that hate extremism be defined as activity or material with “the intention of promoting an ideology of political, religious or racial supremacy, of creating a climate conducive to hate crimes, terrorism or any other violence or trying to erode or destroy fundamental rights. and the freedoms of our democratic society ”.