Anarchist Antifa Take Credit for Arson Attack Against German Army Vehicles

Participants of the "Revolutionary 1st of May Demonstration" light flares and wave flags of the left-wing, Anti-Fascist Antifa movement during May Day events on May 1, 2018 in Berlin. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Investigators believe that an arson attack targetting several German Bundeswehr vehicles on New Year’s Eve in Leipzig is linked to far-left extremists.

A claim of responsibility for the arson attack was made on the far-left web platform Indymedia, which has been linked to anarchist Antifa extremists in the past. The German government had banned the Indymedia page “Linksunten” in 2017 following the Hamburg G20 riots.

According to a report from the German magazine Der Spiegel, a group of suspects yet to be identified set fire to 11 SUVs belonging to the Bundeswehr — the German military — as well as a trailer belonging to the armed forces. Seven of the vehicles were destroyed.

The Police Terrorism and Extremism Defence Centre has taken over the investigation. Local police say that aside from the arson attack, New Year’s Eve was relatively calm in the city.

Leipzig is well-known in Germany as a hub for Antifa extremism and violence; the city has even set up a specific task force, Soko Linx, to deal with far-left motivated crime.

Soko Linx was formed in 2019 after a wave of vandalism, arson, and violence in the city, with that year seeing over 300 left-wing attacks compared to 222 the year before.

In November of that year, the task force went as far as offering substantial cash rewards to identify far-left extremists who had participated in attacks.

In November 2020, Soko Linx began an investigation into an attempted murder case involving Antifa extremists in Leipzig.

The brutal attack took place at an anti-lockdown demonstration involving the Querdenker (“lateral thinker”) movement and saw a group of 15 to 20 black-bloc Antifa militants swarm a pair of anti-lockdown protestors, beat them to the ground, kicking and stomping their heads.

The Antifa attack on Bundeswher vehicles is not the first such incident, either. In 2016, far-left extremists caused €100,000 in damage after setting five military vehicles on fire.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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