Neo-Nazis resort to subtler tactics

Neo-Nazis resort to subtler tactics
Peekaboo! Photo: DPA
Neo-Nazis in Germany are changing their recruitment strategy to include subtler tactics that target young people, a domestic intelligence expert said on Monday.

According to Burkhard Freier, the deputy head of North Rhine-Westphalia’s Verfassungsschutz agency, right-wing extremists are no longer seeking open confrontation. Instead some are attempting to seduce the middle class with their ideology behind closed doors.

Agitation, public appearances and advertising have become “significantly more subtle” and therefore harder to recognise, Freier told daily Neue Westfälische on Monday.

Security experts believe there are signs that neo-Nazis are “eating more crow,” Freier told the paper, explaining that they have taken to targeting young people.

“They’re now hiding the dehumanising messages at first,” he said.

Tactics include beginning with a discussion of welfare benefits and globalisation, and end with racist ideology against foreigners, in particular Muslims and Jews, he said.

Representations of the group online have also become more modern, he warned, saying that they are making efforts to avoid being “immediately recognisable.”

This translates to wearing less conspicuous clothing too, he said.

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