Report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution: More extremism and cyber attacks

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Written By Maya Cantina

The new report for the protection of the Constitution turns out about as you would expect: there are more and more extremists and more and more violence. And the attacks from within are accompanied by attacks from without. Russia and China have Germany firmly in their sights. They work with espionage, sabotage and cyber attacks. And they collaborate with the AfD to some extent.

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Nevertheless, something has fundamentally changed – something that is not included in the report from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. What is different is that a majority of voters in parts of this republic now vote for the AfD. Yes, not only that. Added to this is the rise of the Sahra Wagenknecht alliance, which achieved 21 percent for Thuringia in the most recent survey and, together with the self-proclaimed Alternative for Germany, 49 percent.

No, the BSW is not extremist. The Thuringian frontwoman Katja Wolf even enjoys a consistently good reputation in the Free State. But the representatives of the BSW at the federal level show again and again that they are very close to Russia. The strength of the AfD and BSW results in an intertwined threat from internal and external forces to democracy and the rule of law. This is unprecedented in post-war history. And it also calls into question the state’s ability to act.

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There is a lack of strength at the Ministry of the Interior

The Federal Ministry of the Interior and the security authorities under its authority certainly do not lack clarity and determination. Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution Thomas Haldenwang are equally credible in the fight against extremism of all stripes. Of course, there is now a long and growing list of shortcomings at legislative level. No progress is being made on tightening gun laws, nor on the Democracy Promotion Act, expanding the jurisdiction of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution to investigate financial flows, expanding the powers of the authorities to defend themselves against cyber attacks or the ban on the Islamic Center in Hamburg. There is a lack of clout within the ministry.

Moreover, the safety authorities are reaching objective limits. In the past, democracy has been attacked by fringe groups that operated more or less in the dark. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution brought them to light. Anyone who appeared there was banished. Ostracism worked.

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It is over. Millions of voters, who in turn banish the state, ignore this. Yes, there has long been a real risk of extremists gaining control over the security authorities themselves. If a significant portion of these voters do not come to their senses, the battle against extremism will not be lost. But unfortunately, there can’t really be any winning under these circumstances.

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