BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says the number of extremists who reject the legitimacy of the German government has increased sharply.
The BfV agency said in its annual report Tuesday that the Reichsbuerger movement increased to about 16,500 people by the end of last year from about 10,000 in 2016.
The agency says most of those counted are male, over 40 and strongly attracted to firearms. But it says only about 5 percent are considered far-right extremists in the classical sense.
The Reichsbuerger, or Reich Citizens, movement doesn’t accept the rules of post-war Germany and adherents often clash with officials and police. Many identify with the German Reich of 1871-1918 or assert a form of self-rule similar to the sovereign citizens movement in the United States.