German intelligence labels AfD’s youth wing ‘extremist’

Germany’s domestic intelligence service is reportedly seeking to apply a similar label to AfD itself ahead of a potential ban

German intelligence labels AfD’s youth wing ‘extremist’

German intelligence labels AfD’s youth wing ‘extremist’

Members of Junge Alternative can be surveilled covertly and their phones tapped under the designation

Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has declared Junge Alternative (JA), the youth wing of the right-wing Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party, to be an extremist organization, the domestic intelligence agency announced in a press release on Wednesday. 

JA members can be targeted with all intelligence tools available to the BfV, including covert surveillance, confidential informants, and phone tapping, Die Welt reported on Wednesday. The extremist designation will make it more difficult for them to be employed by the government or obtain weapons licenses. The BfV has been monitoring the youth group as a “suspected case” of extremism since January 2019. 

The youth group’s hostility to migrants was central to the BfV’s decision, as the agency explained the JA’s view of Germany as a nation of Germans holding other ethnicities and migrants to be second-class citizens is incompatible with the nation’s Basic Law. 

The JA supports a “nation that is as ethnoculturally homogenous as possible, excludes migrants of non-European origin as fundamentally impossible to integrate, and sees the greatest danger in a supposedly controlled population exchange to destroy the ‘organically grown European peoples’,” the BfV stated.

In particular, immigrants with a (supposed) Muslim background are attributed negative characteristics in a sweeping manner, such as cultural backwardness and a disproportionately strong tendency to crime and violence, simply because of their origin and religion,” the agency continued. The JA also disparages Germany’s democratic system, it added, claiming members don’t just target political opponents but defame the system of democracy itself.

The JA is reportedly reviewing its legal options, though the group said it was not surprised by the extremist designation or the intelligence services’ drive to crush dissent. 

Regardless of whether they are critics of migration, critics of coronavirus measures or advocates of peace – every form of authentic opposition in this country is systematically stigmatized by this authority,” the JA’s board stated. 

While the AfD holds seats in 15 of 16 state parliaments and commands the support of 15-17% of the electorate, its highest numbers yet since its founding ten years ago, the party has been illegally shut out of the two main public news channels and was labeled a suspected threat to democracy last March. 

If the AfD is given the same extremist designation as its youth wing, some in the party fear it will ultimately be banned.