German Police Raid Homes Over ‘Verbal Radicalism’ On Facebook

REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay.

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Craig Boudreau Vice Reporter
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German police conducted, for the first time ever, a series of raids across the country Wednesday targeting people who posted “hate speech” on Facebook.

Some 25 German police departments raided 60 homes in 14 counties in a move to combat what is seen as a growing problem with hate speech permeating the country, The Verge reported Wednesday. Germany’s federal police agency, Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), said they found the
“glorification of Nazism and the exchange of xenophobic, anti-Semitic or other right-wing extremism,” on social media, according to a Wednesday press release.

Hate speech has been growing in Germany over the last 18 months, according to the newspaper Deutsche Wells, based on data from a study undertaken by the German anti-racism group, Antonio Amadeu Stiftung (AAS).

“The monitoring report reveals that the agitation is intensifying in the social media,” Anetta Kahane, AAS chairwoman said in a statement.

The rise in hate speech is thought to be directly linked to the massive wave of refugees entering the country. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she welcomed the refugees in 2015. “I’m happy that Germany has become a country that many people abroad associate with hope,” Merkel said at a press conference in Berlin.

The BKA also made the connection, corroborating the link of refugees migrating to Germany and a rise in hate speech. “The action carried out today shows that the authorities are acting firmly against hate on the internet,” Holger Münch, head of the BKA, said in a statement. “Which has grown considerably in the wake of the refugee situation.”

More than 1 million refugees have flooded into Germany in 2015. But with that spike in refugees, crime has also spiked. A leaked police report picked up by Spiegel in 2015 and re-published by The Daily Mail, revealed that of the 1.1 million refugees, more than 200,000 crimes were committed by the migrants. A spike of 79 percent from 2014, according to another Daily Mail article published in February.

What’s more, a Pew Research poll released Monday found that 6 out of 10 Germans are concerned that the refugees will bring an elevated terror risk to the country. The Pew report goes on to say that “the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism are very much related to one another in the minds of many Europeans.”

German newspaper, Neue Osnabruücker Zeitung, reported in May that 40 refugees are currently under investigation over ties to terror organizations.

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