World The far-right AfD party placed under intelligence surveillance

The far-right AfD party placed under intelligence surveillance

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648x415 alice weidel copresidente groupe parlementaire afd 28 novembre 2020

Alice Weidel, co-chair of the Afd parliamentary group, November 28, 2020. – INA FASSBENDER / AFP

In Germany, the far-right Alernative for Germany (Afd) party has been placed under surveillance by internal intelligence, which suspects it of attacks on democratic order. This measure comes a few months before the elections.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution has placed the AfD among the “suspected cases”, which allows it to monitor its communications or even introduce informants into its ranks, parliamentary sources told AFP on Wednesday. confirming press information. However, this surveillance will not concern its deputies and candidates for upcoming regional or national elections.

Elections in September

The decision, taken at the end of last week according to the online edition of the magazine The mirror, is very sensitive to seven months of the legislative elections of September 26. The placement under surveillance is marked with the seal of infamy in Germany because in principle reserved for ultra-radical groups.

The AfD, created in 2013, came into force in 2017 in the Chamber of Deputies and there embodies the first force of opposition to the conservatives of Angela Merkel and to the social democrats together in power. The party, which has built its success on its stance against the Chancellor’s migration policy, is currently torn by internal quarrels and losing momentum in the polls.

Legal challenge

Thomas Haldenwang, the president of Internal Intelligence, informed the regional offices of his services on Wednesday of his decision, said The mirror. Questioned by AFP, Internal Intelligence for its part replied “not being able to speak publicly on this affair” because of an ongoing legal procedure, the AfD having lodged a complaint upstream. A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry also refused to speak, citing the same reasons.

The co-chair of the AfD parliamentary group, for her part, denounced a “purely political” and “unjustified” decision. “The AfD will obviously initiate legal proceedings,” reacted Alice Weidel on her Twitter account. His colleague Tino Chrupalla, one of the party’s co-chairmen, for his part described the office’s process as “scandalous”, accusing it of “throwing information into the press” when he is not authorized to do so. announce and “put the AfD at a disadvantage in the democratic competition between the parties”.

“The Wing” in the viewfinder

To explain its decision, the office relied on a 1,000-page report from the intelligence services which cataloged “the party’s alleged violations of the free and democratic fundamental order”. Investigators gathered several hundred speeches or statements from AfD officials at all levels.

A key element retained would be the influence of the most radical fringe of the AfD, called “The Wing” and close to the neo-Nazis. Also placed under surveillance last year, this movement has officially dissolved but its representatives are still in the party. The report also highlights the AfD’s links with certain radical organizations such as the identity movement and the New Right editor and ideologue Götz Kubitschek.

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