(New York, N.Y.) – Following the shooting in Hanau, Germany, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) warns against underestimating the threat posed by right-wing extremism.
On February 19, alleged gunman Tobias Rathjen opened fire at two shisha lounges in Germany, killing nine and wounding five. Before the attack, Rathjen uploaded an online manifesto calling for a global ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Jews. He also uploaded a video to YouTube sharing his views, which was taken down after the attack. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that right-wing extremism is the greatest threat to the country’s security.
Senior Director at CEP, Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler, stated:
“This attack demonstrates the severity of the threat posed by right-wing extremists. While it was believed that right-wing attackers operate on an individual basis, the evidence of right-wing extremist content on Internet indicates that these individuals form online networks where they exchange information and organize common actions. Germany’s move to toughen online hate speech rules comes at the right time, but more needs to be done to curb the deadly consequences of growing far-extremism in the country.”
CEP published two reports on the subject: the first report examining extremism in Germany, called Germany: Extremism & Counter-Extremism, and the second report entitled European Ethno-Nationalist and White Supremacy Groups.