Germany is waking up to the threat of far-right terrorism
Affected Countries: germany;
Five bullet-holes still scar the window of Karamba Diaby’s office in Halle, a city in eastern Germany. No one knows who fired at the empty building, where Germany’s only black MP meets constituents and does routine political work. But Mr Diaby’s staff do not doubt that the attack, in mid-January, was racially motivated. A week after the incident Mr Diaby got an email warning him to expect the fate of Walter Lübcke, a pro-refugee politician murdered last June. The anonymous threat was signed off with a “Sieg Heil”.
Right-wing extremism in various guises has troubled parts of Germany for decades. The Amadeu Antonio Foundation, an outfit that monitors such activity, says it is responsible for 208 deaths since 1990. But a recent string of incidents has left nerves especially jangled. On Yom Kippur, three months before the attack on Mr Diaby’s office, Stephan Balliet, a young man armed with home-made 3D-printed weapons, tried to break into a synagogue in Halle to massacre worshippers; when that failed he killed two people at random instead.
On February 19th in Hanau, near Frankfurt, 43-year-old Tobias Rathjen killed nine immigrants and ethnic-minority Germans during a shooting rampage, before killing himself and his mother. A few days earlier 12 men were arrested for planning attacks on mosques in the hope of igniting “civil war”. Local officials across Germany are physically and verbally intimidated. Many have quit.