Germany’s domestic secret police intelligence agency wants to officially start spying on the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party and Pegida, a leaked strategy paper has revealed.
The paper was written by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) chief, Hans-Georg Maassen.
BfV chief Hans-Georg Maassen, left, with German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (right).
Maassen’s paper was to have been presented to a general meeting of federal state BfV heads in Cologne last week, but the author withdrew it at the last minute, telling the 17 spy chiefs that it was “not yet ready.”
The paper was then apparently deliberately leaked to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
The meeting was called specifically to discuss the “threat” posed by the populist movement in Germany—which they have defined as all those Germans who are concerned about the mass Third World invasion of their country which has been encouraged and supported by the Angel Merkel regime.
According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Maassen paper proposed that the BfV should loosen their own criteria and begin to conduct surveillance beyond what they called the “hardcore” groups.
Data should also be gathered on individual members of movements like PEGIDA and political parties like the AfD, the paper argued, describing these as a “bridge spectrum” between “extremism and democracy.”
“But the existence of this bridge spectrum also proves that though the theory of a sharp ‘extremist—democratic’ distinction is right for the [BfV] authorities, it is not always apparent in reality,” Maassen wrote.
Though PEGIDA and AfD members might indeed believe in the principles of the German constitution, they could still be described as “radical,” Maassen added.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung commented that Maassen’s unexpected withdrawal of the paper “irritated some participants” at the meeting, but was an indication of the “uncertainty of how the authorities are able to re-adjust their operations within the context of the law.”
The newspaper added that a “clear definition of extremism” has never existed in the German state’s laws dealing with its enemies, and that “even the mere observation of a group [by the BfV] can stigmatize and politically isolate” any person or organization.
The head of the BfV in the state of Thuringia, Stephan Kramer, was quoted by the Süddeutsche Zeitung as warning that placing the AfD under observation—a legitimate political party, which has growing mass support in Germany—could “backfire” as the party could then “portray itself as a martyr.”
In July 2016, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported that the BfV was already spying on “individuals” within the AfD in the state of Bavaria.
That state’s BfV head Burkhard Körner told the newspaper that they were also spying on Pegida members.