German Intelligence: Left Wing Violence and Extremism Rising

A protester walks in front of a fire after the 'Welcome to Hell' rally against the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany on July 6, 2017. Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, …
CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images

BERLIN (AP) — German security officials say left-wing extremists have become more willing to use violence over the past five years.

Figures released by the domestic intelligence agency BfV on Wednesday show the number of left-wing extremists whom authorities consider potentially violent rose 27 percent from 7,100 to about 9,000 between 2012 and 2017.

The number of violent crimes committed by left-wing extremists rose 88 percent during that period, to 1,648 from 876.

Last year saw a spike in left-wing violence partly due to the G-20 summit in Hamburg. The rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany has also given left-wing extremists a new target in recent years.

BfV chief Hans-Georg Maassen called for more public debate about the need to reject violence as a means of achieving political ends.

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