German interior minister warns of far-right threat after politician's murder

  • In US
  • 2019-06-18 14:19:58Z
  • By Reuters

BERLIN, June 18 (Reuters) - The murder of a prominent politician by a suspected right-wing radical is an assault on Germany's democratic system and should serve as a wake-up call, the interior minister said on Tuesday, pledging to combat all forms of extremism.

The arrest of a right-winger over the shooting two weeks ago of Walter Luebcke, a regional ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel known for his pro-migrant views, shocked Germany and prompted calls for a more pro-active government response to anti-immigrant extremists.

"Right-wing extremism is a serious danger for our free society. We must fight it with all we can," Horst Seehofer, a Bavarian who opposed the open-door migrant policy Merkel operated in 2015-16, told a news conference.

"The attack on a representative of our state is an alarm signal ... combating extremism and terrorism of all kinds is a central matter for this government," he said.

Germany is home to some 12,700 potentially violent far-right radicals, domestic intelligence agency BfV estimates, and a Civey poll showed 60 percent of Germans think the government is doing too little to oppose them.

Luebcke, the head of the district government in Kassel in the state of Hesse, was shot in the head at close range on the terrace of his home two weeks ago. A 45-year-old named by police as Stephan E. was arrested at the weekend after they found his DNA at the scene.

Investigators said he was a known right-wing radical in the 1980s and 1990s. He had been a member of a shooting club but did not have a gun license.

German media have reported that the suspect was a member of an armed branch of the banned 'Blood and Honour' European network of neo-Nazis, but Seehofer said it was unclear whether he was part of a group or a loose network of right-wing extremists.

Germany was shaken by the chance discovery in 2011 of a neo-Nazi cell, the National Socialist Underground whose members murdered eight Turks, a Greek man and a German policewoman from 2000 to 2007.

After fierce criticism of the intelligence agencies and police for underestimating the risk of far-right violence, reforms were introduced, such as closer coordination between agencies and regions.

BfV chief Thomas Haldenwang said much had changed. "But in view of the scale of the threat from the right, we are not in a position to say we have mastered (it)," he told reporters.

Last year, Germany was shaken by violent right-wing protests in the eastern town of Chemnitz after the killing of a Cuban-German citizen for which two immigrants were arrested. Soon after, the then head of the BfV was ousted after he was accused of harbouring right-wing sympathies. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by John Stonestreet)


More Related News

Exclusive: Deutsche Bank took years to flag suspect Danske money flows - source
Exclusive: Deutsche Bank took years to flag suspect Danske money flows - source
  • US
  • 2019-10-14 17:53:50Z

FRANKFURT/TALLINN (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank did not disclose more than one million suspect money transfers with Danske Bank until February, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said, about five years after a whistleblower flagged suspicious transactions at Danske. Deutsche sent alerts about

Germany pair
Germany pair 'made mistake' by liking Turkish salute post

German FA director Oliver Bierhoff on Monday defended Germany pair Ilkay Gundogan and Emre Can, but admitted they "made a mistake" by liking a post of Turkish footballers performing a military salute. Gundogan and Can, who both have Turkish roots, became embroiled in a social media storm Sunday

Poland, Russia reach Euro 2020 as Germany, Netherlands close in
Poland, Russia reach Euro 2020 as Germany, Netherlands close in

Poland and Russia secured their places at Euro 2020 on Sunday with victories over North Macedonia and Cyprus respectively, while Germany and the Netherlands boosted their hopes of reaching the finals. Russia eased to a 5-0 thrashing of 10-man Cyprus, with Poland joining them, Belgium and Italy in qualifying

Merkel's Spending Drive Thwarted by Bats, Lizards and Red Tape
  • World
  • 2019-10-13 05:00:00Z

(Bloomberg) -- Visitors arriving by train in Stuttgart are met with a gaping hole that tells a sobering tale about Germany's challenges in ramping up investment.It's an infamous railway construction project, dreamed up in the 1990s and now billions of euros over budget and at least four years behind schedule. Among the reasons for the delay to the roughly 8 billion-euro ($9 billion) Stuttgart 21 development are a cumbersome planning process and ecological rules protecting lizards.That parable of red tape is a familiar one across Germany and underscores the problems facing the country as it risks stumbling into recession. Home to manufacturing powerhouses Daimler AG and Robert Bosch GmbH,...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.