Germany Fears Radicalization Over Refugees

Germany Fears Radicalization Over RefugeesGermany Fears Radicalization Over Refugees

Germany’s domestic intelligence chief has warned of a radicalization of right-wing groups amid a record influx of migrants and refugees, as xenophobic rallies and clashes shook several towns at the weekend.

Hans-Georg Maassen’s comments come as Germany expects up to one million migrants and refugees this year, Al Jazeera reported.

Protests against refugee homes and clashes with police again rocked several towns at the weekend, mostly in the former communist East Germany.

“What we’re seeing in connection with the refugee crisis is a mobilization on the street of right-wing extremists, but also of some left-wing extremists” who oppose them, Maassen said on Deutschlandfunk public radio on Sunday.

Police and soldiers guarded two buses carrying about 100 refugees on Saturday night to a shelter in the town of Niederau, in the eastern Saxony state, after right-wing protesters had rallied at the site, a former supermarket, since Friday.

More than 1,000 people also demonstrated against refugees in several towns in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on Friday, including in coastal Stralsund where three people were wounded in clashes with counter-protesters.

In the eastern city of Leipzig, the right-wing rally Offensive for Germany, organized by a local anti-Islam activist with about 400 marchers, sparked a larger left-wing counter-protest that police said drew more than 1,000 activists.

In the western city of Bremen, unknown persons attempted to set fire to a tent set to house refugees from October.

This year alone has seen 22 arson attacks against would-be or existing refugee shelters, said Maassen, whose service is called the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.