03:33 GMT +329 June 2017
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    German flags wave in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. (File)

    Germany Hunts For Huge Far-Right Underground Movement

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    Angela Merkel’s virtually absent migration policy is bearing fruit as Germans turn toward far-right movements and weaponise themselves, intending to take control of their homeland with their own hands, German media has warned.

    During 2016, some 450 arrest warrants were issued in Germany in connection to far-right "extremism," reported Deutsche Welle (DW).

    The number of violent crimes perpetrated against asylum seekers increased five-fold in 2015, compared to the previous year, DW claimed. Various smaller far-right groups have been forced underground and are posing the beginnings of an organized force, seeking weapons to solve the problems they claim Berlin refuses to address.

    "Anti-asylum agitation creates a sounding board for right-wing extremist ideology fragments. Right-wing extremism gains connectivity," according to the latest German Interior Ministry annual report on the defense of the Constitution. 

    According to the report, the official number far-right members was some 23,000 at the end of 2016. Reports claim that those who incline toward far-right "extremism" are establishing channels to acquire weapons.

    DW pointed to a website called "Migrantenschreck" (German for a fear of migrants), which is, ironically, registered in Russia. The website belongs to Mario Rönsch, a German far-right activist currently living in Hungary.

    The website allows Germans to purchase crossbows and non-lethal rubber-bullet weapons. Hungarian law forbids the export of such weapons to Germany. The website uses dark humor to peddle its products, according to DW. One description goes as follows: "An incredible 130-joule muzzle velocity speaks for itself, guaranteeing the successful use of this product."

    According to Matthias Quent, a Jena-based researcher into right-wing movement, a threshold of public anger has been reached, and social-media users are beyond simply expressing their displeasure.

    In Quent's words, "the discourse is incredibly uninhibited."

    The researcher acknowledges that it is the Merkel's unwillingness to tackle the problem that is driving some people to imagine violence.

    "If the perception is that the state is no longer capable of protecting its borders, or its people, from terrorism, there is an increase in the perceived legitimacy of forming one's own organizations, of resorting to violence oneself, of arming oneself."

    As Russia and the US-led coalition push Daesh out of Syria and Iraq, terror attacks in Europe could increase, similar to that of Berlin's Breitscheidplatz, where a truck was driven into a Christmas market.

    Angry citizens feeling helpless can easily take extreme measures, favoring extreme policies. Germany must mitigate its organized far-right political force before Merkel, or her successor, can assure the safety and stability of all.

    *An earlier version of this article inaccurately described the movement as neo-Nazi, while it is far-right

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    Tags:
    Weapons, Neo-Nazi, migrant crisis, far-right, migrants, Angela Merkel, Germany
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