Extremism: "Reichsbürger": extradition proceedings and AfD debate

Two days after the big raid on the "Reichsbürger" scene, there were increasing calls for political consequences and additional security measures in the Bundestag.

Extremism: "Reichsbürger": extradition proceedings and AfD debate

Two days after the big raid on the "Reichsbürger" scene, there were increasing calls for political consequences and additional security measures in the Bundestag. Some politicians are taking the fact that one of the alleged conspirators, who is in custody, includes a former AfD member of the Bundestag, as an opportunity to call for a new approach to the party.

Meanwhile, the federal prosecutor's office initiated extradition proceedings against two Germans who had been arrested in the course of the raid in Austria and Italy. It has not yet been decided when the two men can be brought before the investigating judges of the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe.

The ex-officer arrested in Italy remains in custody in Perugia for the time being. The court of appeal in the central Italian city decided on Friday and thus followed the request of the public prosecutor. The Italian Ministry of Justice initially did not comment on request.

Several special sessions in the Bundestag

In the coming week, the Bundestag will deal with the major raid and the possible consequences in several special sessions. At the request of the Union faction, the case is to be discussed on Monday both in the internal committee and in the legal committee. The Greens are also pushing for the group's plans, which have now been uncovered, to be discussed in a current session in the plenary session of the Bundestag.

"According to current knowledge, the unmasked terrorist network has prepared targeted attacks on the German Bundestag and thus the heart of democracy," said the parliamentary director of the Greens parliamentary group, Irene Mihalic. The Bundestag should therefore deal with "the threat to democracy posed by networks of Reich citizens and other right-wing extremists" as soon as possible. Political consequences, security policy measures and the need for social action must also be discussed.

The Union faction also wants to talk about passing on information before the raid in the legal committee. "Punctured investigation internals endanger the investigations and damage the rule of law," said the legal policy spokesman for the parliamentary group, Günter Krings (CDU), the news portal t-online. "If media representatives were informed in advance of the search measures and arrests carried out, this must be investigated and clarified." A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said: "Operations like the one that took place there are always associated with a possible threat to the emergency services." Forwarding information about this in advance is "irresponsible".

"Review of access for ex-AfD MPs necessary"

FDP faction deputy Konstantin Kuhle suggested a review of access authorization to the Bundestag for all former AfD MPs. "The events surrounding the former AfD MP Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, who was arrested on Wednesday because of her possible involvement in terrorist plans, make it necessary to re-examine the access for former AfD MPs," he told the German Press Agency. The Bundestag administration should check whether other former AfD MPs now have new findings from the security authorities that indicate a threat to parliament. If this is the case, an entry ban must be issued immediately. He said: "It would be unbearable if former AfD MPs allowed such attacks through access to parliament."

After leaving the Bundestag, former MPs receive a former member's pass, which they can use to continue to access the Bundestag buildings. A statement from the federal prosecutor's office on Wednesday's arrests said: "According to the investigations so far, there is also the suspicion that individual members of the association have made concrete preparations to forcibly invade the German Bundestag with a small armed group."

List of names for the alleged "Reich citizen" is a mystery

A list of celebrities' names found on one of the suspects from the "Reichsbürger" scene puzzles the investigators. Security circles said on Friday that the purpose for which this list was created still needs to be clarified. According to information from the German Press Agency, it is not yet clear whether this is a so-called enemy list.

The "taz" reported that the list included the names of Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) and CDU leader Friedrich Merz. The SPD chairwoman Saskia Esken, SPD general secretary Kevin Kühnert and the CDU politician Armin Laschet are also mentioned there, as are well-known TV personalities from the public broadcasters.

According to reports, the list was found during a house search last April. It is said to have been discovered on a man who was among those arrested on Wednesday.

Söder: drain the "Reichsbürger" scene

The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) said in Munich that "Reichsbürger" networks had to be "absolutely drained down to the last detail" nationally and regionally. In addition, it had to be clarified what kind of party the AfD actually was. "The AfD is closely intertwined with this scene, in terms of personnel. It is increasingly developing into a reservoir for such right-wing extremist forces in particular, it almost attracts them." Admittedly, not all AfD members are right-wing extremists. "But everyone who tries to take action against right-wing extremism in the AfD is gradually being sorted out, voted out and pushed to the fringes of their party. Which is difficult anyway, because the entire AfD operates on the fringes in every respect." Efforts by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution to deal with the AfD must therefore be intensified and strengthened.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is keeping an eye on the AfD as a suspected right-wing extremist. A complaint by the AfD against this classification was decided in the first instance in favor of the protection of the constitution. The AfD has appealed. For the assessment of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, it is relevant, among other things, how great the influence of the right-wing current is, the best-known representative of which is the Thuringian state and parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke.