Regional News • Europe • France
Far-right group Génération Identitaire to be banned in France

Génération Identitaire, a French far-right group declaring a "war on migrants", faces dissolution as the French government tries to tackle far-right extremism. A bill to fight Islamist extremism and separatism was approved by the National Assembly on February 16th.

Right-wing extremists in Germany arm themselves
"Wir für Deutschland" protest
"Wir für Deutschland" protest Credit: Leonhard Lenz (Public Domain)

In a brief enquiry from the left-wing parliamentary group, the federal government replied that the number of right-wing extremists with weapons permits in Germany is still increasing. An increase of 35% has been recorded since 2019, with the security authorities counting a total of 1,2000 suspected right-wing extremists.

In the context of threats such as "Day X", raids on Bundeswehr soldiers and right-wing chat groups within the police, the constitutional protection authorities assess such preparatory actions as dangerous.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
"Querdenken 711" case for the protection of the constitution

The Corona protest movement "Querdenken 711" from Stuttgart becomes a case for the constitutional protection of Baden-Württemberg. The reason for this is the increasing influence of right-wing extremists and Reichsbürgern within the movement.

A meeting of movement members and Peter Fitzek, the self-proclaimed "King of Germany" and Reichsbürger, in Thuringia is also said to have triggered the measure taken by the security authorities. The authorities are concerned about the alliance of Querdenkern, corona deniers and Reichsbürgern.

Former German Military Counterintelligence Service member acquitted of treason charges
Former German Military Counterintelligence Service member acquitted of treason charges
Credit: unsplash.com / Daniel Stub

A German former Military Counterintelligence Service member (MAD) has been acquitted of the charge of treason. The 44-year-old military member had been accused to have warned a KSK-soldier of a raid by the attorney general as part of a right-wing extremism investigation.

The suspect himself had stated this during his interrogations and publicly. The MAD employee had now testified in court that the information had come from a leak at the Attorney General. Thereupon the public prosecutor withdrew the appeal proceedings.

Regional News • Europe • France
Samuel Paty received the French Légion d’Honneur posthumously

Samuel Paty, the teacher decapitated in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, has been posthumously awarded the Légion d’honneur.

On October 21, during a private ceremony in the Sorbonne university, President Emmanuel Macron bestowed the country’s highest honour on the family of Paty.

Regional News • Europe • France
A history and geography teacher beheaded near Paris

The victim had made a recent intervention in class about freedom of speech where he mentioned the Muhammad cartoons controversy, which pushed the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor's Office to take over the investigation.

The assaillant has been shot by the police.

Norwegian police arrests suspect in 1982 attack on Jo Goldenberg restaurant in Paris
Restaurant Jo Goldenberg in 2005
Restaurant Jo Goldenberg in 2005 Credit: David Monniaux

The Norwegian police have arrested a man suspected to take part on the August 1982 attack on the Jo Goldenberg restaurant in Paris. The attack killed six people and wounded more than 20 others.

The man immigrated to Norwegian in the 1990s and is accused of being a former member of the Abu Nidal Organization. In 2015 French authorities issued an arrest warrant against him, but Norway denied the extradition request on the grounds the country would not extradite its citizens.

As Norway recently adopted new pan-European regulations on arrests, French prosecutors decided to request the extradition for a second time. A legal process will determine if formal grounds for extradition have been met, and if he is tried, any judgment will be by a French court.

Military Counterintelligence (MAD): New Dimension of Right-Wing Extremism in the German Bundeswehr
Military Counterintelligence (MAD): New Dimension of Right-Wing Extremism in the German Bundeswehr
Credit: "Yellow line" by photoheuristic.info (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a public parliamentary hearing in the Bundestag, the President of the MAD had to admit that patriotism in the Bundeswehr continues to be a difficult issue. The Bundeswehr is currently counting a total of 600 suspected cases from right-wing extremism to "Reichsbürgertum". The focus of the activities is currently still the Special Forces Command (KSK), where the investigators focus on around 20 people.

According to the MAD president the goal must be that the "wall of silence" cracks.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany: Background check for civil servants in first state

Brandenburg is the first federal state to introduce a background check for state employees. Above all, compliance with the constitution should be checked and extremist infiltration recognized and combated at an early stage. The powers of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution are also to be expanded: Individuals who radicalize independently of membership in a group should be easier to observe.

This was triggered by individual cases in the federal state and a decision by the Interior Ministers' Conference in 2019.

Government officials consider this step to be necessary because in some places private security forces are better checked than state officials.