An expert on right-wing extremism has warned of “massive rearmament” by neo-Nazi groups after German police seized 61% per more weapons during raids on the radical right in 2018 than the previous year. German public broadcaster ARD on Friday, citing Interior Ministry figures requested by the left-wing Linke Party, showed 1,091 weapons were seized during raids on far-right extremists last year. In 2017, 676 weapons were confiscated. The weapons seized included handguns, rifles, and other conflict apparatus including explosives, detonators, knives, batons, projectiles and even replica guns. The government figures were based on 563 right-wing motivated crimes involving weapons, including 235 violent incidents. The increase was described as “frightening and alarming”, by Matthias Quent, an expert on right-wing extremism at the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society, IDZ. He said the figures showed “a massive armament and rearmament of Germany’s right-wing radical scene”. Quent said neo-Nazi groups were preparing to stage fresh militant attacks on minorities, political opponents and representatives of the state. “Their goal is to intimidate society and the displacement of certain groups of people. Parts of the scene even want a civil war”, he told ARD. A separate Interior Ministry report released this month revealed that authorities had registered 8,605 right-wing offenses in the first half of 2019, an increase of 900 crimes. The number of violent crimes committed by known right-wing extremists rose by 3.2%, from 1,054 to 1,088, according to the report.
Nik Martin in Germany sees surge in weapon seizures from far-right (DW.com)