Intel chief: German extremists disbanding is 'smoke screen' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Intel chief: German extremists disbanding is 'smoke screen'

FILE - In this May 18, 2016 file picture the head of the Alternative for Germany party, AfD, in Thuringia, Bjoern Hoecke, speaks during a rally in Erfurt, eastern Germany. Germany's domestic intelligence agency says that a radical faction within the AfD known as "The Wing" is considered a proven extremist organization and will be under surveillance. The Wing is led by AfD's regional chiefs in the eastern states of Thuringia, Bjoern Hoecke, and Brandenburg, Andreas Kalbitz. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer,file)
March 25, 2020 - 8:33 AM

BERLIN - The head of one of Germany's state security agencies has accused an extremist faction within the country's main far-right party of trying to create a “smoke screen” by announcing it will disband.

Leaders of the far-right Alternative for Germany had called last week for the radical ‘Wing’ faction of the party to dissolve after the country's domestic intelligence agency classified it as extremist.

The Wing's leading figures, Bjoern Hoecke and Andreas Kalbitz, agreed Tuesday to disband the faction.

But the head of the domestic intelligence agency in Thuringia state, where Hoecke is the party's regional leader, said this appeared to be a tactical manoeuvr.

Stephan Kramer told German news agency dpa in an interview published Wednesday the move was “a smoke screen," adding that it was more important to see whether the party distances itself from the extremist faction.

Alternative for Germany currently has seats in all German state assemblies and the federal parliament. It is strongest in the east.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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