Share article:
Share article:

Right-wing extremism gained momentum in 2019, report shows

The far right gained momentum in 2019, according to State Security. Credit: Pixabay

2019 was the year of acceleration for the extreme right, the State Security Council said in its annual report.

A series of attacks cost the lives of dozens of victims in the Western world, and there is a breeding ground for ideologically inspired violence in Belgium, according to the report.

State Security refers to the attack on a mosque in New Zealand’s Christchurch on 15 March, where 51 people were killed. “The perpetrator was not only applauded in right-wing extremist circles, he also inspired and encouraged other right-wing extremist activists to follow his example,” they said, adding that “at least four attacks resulting in deaths (two in the US, one in Norway and one in Germany) in 2019 were directly inspired by Brenton Tarrant,” the Christchurch shooter.

Related Articles

 

Other right-wing extremist attacks such as the murder of the German politician Walter Lübcke are not immediately linked to the raid on the mosque, but they do indicate that the threshold has been lowered to take the step from hate speech to brute force, according to the report.

In Belgium, too, violence in right-wing extremist circles is no longer taboo, says the State Security Service. Some people in right-wing extremist circles have said that “the New-Zealand example deserves to be followed here,” they pointed out.

“State Security has established that some right-wing extremist circles are threatening violent actions or are discussing the possibility of such actions,” they said.

“In the most extreme cases, right-wing militants prepare for violence, such as practicing with firearms and explosives or discussing potential targets,” according to the report. State Security has shared intelligence on such preparations with other security services.

Neo-Nazi and skinhead circles “are more active than in past year: neo-Nazi concerts in Belgium attract a broader and more international public. Nazi groups take to the streets more often to express their displeasure with parliamentary democracy” and are less and less scared to express their ideology.

“Radicalisation and the culture of violence is also noticeable in extreme-right identity movements. An increasing amount of importance is being attached to physical readiness, resilience or the availability of firearms,” the report added.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Covid-19 decisions made ‘too hastily’, socialist leader argues
The government is missing a "general lack of method" when it comes to how coronavirus fighting measures are decided on, according to the leader of ...
Aggression against railway staff more than doubled since 2020
In the first three quarters of 2021, the number of reports of aggression against national railway company SNCB's staff has more than doubled compared ...
Intervention hotline 1722 activated following bad weather warnings
Following bad weather warnings from Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI), the Federal Public Service (FPS) Home Affairs has ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Thousands march in Brussels to raise awareness of violence against women
More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon for a national march to raise awareness of violence against women in ...
Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pork sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...