The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) recent publication of the rise of leftist extremism and leftist terrorism is part of an on-going re-emergence of new forms of leftist extremism and radicalization of the civil society scene. The report attached is in German, a translation is currently underway. The report provides a starting point for policy officials and academics to view the various other extremist fringe groups with a more critical view.
In Asia, most of the leftist-inspired conflicts are misclassified as communal violence, conflict with the ‘capital’ (a code word of leftist involvement) and more commonly concealed under the rubric environmental or other communal disputes due to a lack of understanding by authorities, academics and law enforcement.
Whereas the authorities are proclaiming communism is a perpetual threat today’s extremist spectrum on the left is a lot more complex, diverse, multispectral and multi-national posing the question if the new leftist groups are a threat to national security.
- The left-wing extremist scene in Germany today comprises about 28,500 people, of whom 8,500 are considered violent.
- Between the left-wing extremist scenes in Europe, there are more and more cooperation efforts.
- A small number of German left-wing extremists have joined the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) as foreign fighters. If they return, they could pose an increased risk potential.
- Islamism continues to pose a much greater potential for terrorist threats than left-wing extremism and right-wing extremism.
- Nevertheless, in order to prevent further political polarization and radicalization, all forms of extremism must be decisively counteracted and prevention work in all fields intensified.
The riots on the occasion of the G-20 summit in Hamburg in summer 2017 have revealed the escalation potential of the extreme left-wing scene. This is not the first time that massive left-wing motivated violence has occurred recently. Ever since the financial and economic crisis of 2007/08, extreme left-wing violence and personal potential have risen significantly in Germany and in other countries – especially southern European countries. The paper considered the potential danger posed by left-wing militancy in Europe and raises the question of whether a new threat of terrorism emerges.