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4 Nov, 2019 08:57

German politicians fearful as US-linked neo-Nazi group puts Green MPs on top of ‘kill list’

German politicians fearful as US-linked neo-Nazi group puts Green MPs on top of ‘kill list’

Top members of Germany’s Green Party received death threats from a hardcore far-right group unambiguously threatening to “execute” them in public, sending shockwaves through the local political elite.

Cem Ozdemir and Claudia Roth reported receiving threats attributed to the Atomwaffe Division Deutschland (Nuclear Weapons Division Germany), a local offshoot of an American neo-Nazi group. Ozdemir, a former co-chairman of the Green Party and a high profile politician with a Turkish background, said that the email flagged him as the number one target on the AWD’s ‘hit list’.

“At the moment, we are planning how and when we will execute you; at the next public rally? Or will we get you in front of your house?” German newspapers quoted from the chilling message.

Ozdemir took the letter seriously, although he is no stranger to threats – Turkish nationalists, for instance, once vowed to assassinate him for attacking President Recep Tayyip Erdogan several years ago.

RT

Roth, currently a Vice President of the Bundestag, was listed second on the hit list. The threats are the latest in “a long list of attempted intimidation against local politicians and civil society, against Jews and Muslims, against female artists and immigrants,” she said.

The threats prompted strong responses from some German politicians. Konstantin Kuhle, domestic affairs speaker for the Free Democratic Party (FDP), said there was a "dramatic” rise in the number of threats against public officials, warning that they should not be turned into "fair game" to be hunted down by extremists.

RT

Others demanded that a planned crackdown on hate speech and right-wing extremism online be sped up. Lawmakers are currently reviewing a bill that requires social media companies to hand over IP addresses and other data to German authorities, and proposes imposing hefty fines on the culprits.

Thorsten Frei, Vice Chairman of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) in the Bundestag, said the party will do “everything in our power” to get it passed into law soon. "Whoever incites and threatens online must be pursued more harshly and effectively in the future," Stephan Mayer, the parliamentary secretary of the Interior Ministry, added.

The news comes weeks after other lower-level politicians in the eastern state of Thuringia were contacted by far-right groups threatening to carry out knife or car bomb attacks if they did not leave their party. One of the letters ended with the words, “Sieg Heil and Heil Hitler,”according to Deutsche Welle. 

Fear of political violence committed by extremists escalated in June after Walter Luebcke, who was president of a regional council in the city of Kassel and member of the CDU, was shot point blank near his house. The politician was a staunch supporter of Merkel’s refugee policy, while the suspect happened to have links to a far-right vigilante group.

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