Far-right extremism in Germany rose in 2022, now poses country’s biggest security threat

Masked police arresting an alleged coup plotter
Masked police arrest an alleged far-right coup plotter after a raid on the so-called Reichsbuerger, or Reich Citizens, movement in Frankfurt, Germany, in December.
(Boris Roessler / DPA)
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Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said Tuesday that it has recorded a new high in crimes by political extremists in 2022, with the far right posing the biggest security threat to the country.

Figures published by the BfV agency show that there were almost 2,000 more instances of cases linked to extremists of all political shades — 35,452 in 2022, compared with 33,476 in 2021. Meanwhile, the number of crimes classified as violent crimes dipped by slightly more than 140 cases — to 2,847 last year, down from 2,994 the year before.

The agency also counted 38,800 far-right extremists in the country last year — an increase of almost 5,000 in the overall number from 2021. The agency said it believes 14,000 of those individuals could potentially resort to violence.


Interior Minister Nancy Faeser expressed particular concern over a rise in attacks on refugees and migrants and said the country should not underestimate the danger posed “by right-wing extremism and right-wing terrorism.”

Four men and a woman are accused of treason for their alleged participation in a plot to kidnap Germany’s health minister and topple the government.

May 17, 2023

Faeser also noted that there has been an increase in far-left extremists to 36,500 in 2022. The BfV recorded a slight decline in the number of Islamist extremists, to 27,480, but warned that the threat of violence from that sector remains high.

Also, BfV chief Thomas Haldenwang said the threat posed by Russian espionage in Germany has increased since Russia’s attack on Ukraine.