Germany to create 300 jobs to combat right-wing extremism

Germany's domestic intelligence agency is creating 300 jobs to crackdown on right-wing terrorism and "extremist activities in the public sector".

Germany to create 300 jobs to combat right-wing extremism
Headquarters of the Bundesamts für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Following a series of high-profile incidents of right-wing extremism – such as the murder of the pro-refugee politician Walter Lübcke in June – the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (Germany's domestic intelligence agency) is to be massively upgraded.

READ ALSO: Political link suspected in German pro-migrant politician's murder

That's according to a plan presented Tuesday by Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) and domestic intelligence President Thomas Haldenwang in Berlin. 

The 300 additional jobs are being created to better monitor the right-wing extremist scene, including identifying terrorist cells and individual perpetrators at an early stage, according to information obtained by Spiegel Online. 

Social networks and the Internet are also to be monitored more closely to identify possible extremists who could use violence, radicalize themselves or network with other extremists.

The planned “Central Office for the Investigation of Right-wing Extremist Activities in the Public Sector” will be set up as a division of the intelligence agency.

The office will also establish a stronger exchange of information with foreign governments on right-wing extremist terrorism.

The plans materialized after incidents in New Zealand and the US, in which assassins attacked mosques, synagogues and migrants, killing numerous people. 

The mosque attacker in New Zealand's Christchurch had contacts with Europe's “Identitarian Movement”, of which there is also a strong presence in Germany.

In its current annual report, German intelligence counts 24,100 right-wing extremists in Germany, more than half of whom, according to the authority, are “oriented towards violence”. 

READ ALSO: 12,700 violent far-right extremists in Germany, government claims

Two weeks ago Interior Minister Seehofer said that right-wing extremism in Germany poses just as great a danger for security agencies as Islamic terrorism, and announced additional jobs and restructuring.


Right-wing scene – die rechtsextreme Szene

Crackdown/combat – (die) Bekämpfung 

Upgraded – aufgerüstet

Attacks – (die) Anschläge

Restructuring – (die) Umstrukturierung

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Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.