Interessante stukjes over extreemrechts, buiten het speciale hoofdstuk op blz 80-91:
Right-wing (RW) terrorism
In 2020, three EU Member States experienced four terrorist
incidents motivated by right-wing extremism. One terrorist
attack using firearms was committed in Germany and
resulted in the death of nine people;8 another attack plot in
Germany was disrupted. A failed attempt to attack a public
institution occurred in Belgium, while one plot was foiled in
At least three of the four perpetrators were nationals of the
country in which the attack took place or was planned, and
one of them was female.
In 2020, 34 individuals were arrested in eight EU Member
States on suspicion of involvement in right-wing terrorist
activity. Where the offence leading to arrest was reported,9
the most frequent offences were membership of a
terrorist group and attack planning and preparation, often
accompanied by possession of weapons. The suspects
were predominantly male, with an average age of 38, and
nationals of the country in which they were arrested.
The perpetrator of the completed right-wing terrorist
attack in Hanau (Germany) was motivated by racist and
xenophobic ideas, but does not seem to have referred to
previous right-wing attacks like the one in Christchurch (New
Zealand) in 2019, or taken part in transnational right-wing
Arrests of suspects planning to commit terrorist or extremist
attacks were made in several EU Member States in 2020. It
is concerning to note the increasingly young age of suspects
– many of whom were minors at the time of arrest. Most
are linked to transnational violent online communities with
varying degrees of organisation.
These online communities espouse the ‘leaderless
resistance’ concept of the SIEGE culture and accelerationist
ideas. Such ideologies promote the view that attacks by
individuals or small groups, rather than large organisations,
are required to accelerate the anticipated breakdown of
society. This can be used to justify lone-actor attacks, like
those observed in 2019.
Right-wing terrorism and extremism continued
to comprise a very heterogeneous set of
ideologies, political objectives and forms of
organisation, ranging from lone individuals linked
to extremist online communities to hierarchical
organisations. Violent Neo-Nazi and white
supremacist groups were dismantled and/or
banned in several EU Member States, including
Germany and Spain. Their stated aim was to
attack those whom they considered ‘non-whites’,
including people of Jewish or Muslim faith, to
destroy the democratic order, and to create new
communities based on racist ideology. Some of
these groups financed their activities through
criminal means, including drug trafficking.
Combat training and access to weapons are
factors increasing the capabilities of rightwing
extremists to commit acts of violence.
Right-wing extremists often own, and in many
cases collect weapons, and they tend to have
an increasing interest in paramilitary training,
sometimes outside the EU, for example in
In 2020 enhanced public awareness of climate
and ecological crises led right-wing extremists
to increasingly promote eco-fascist views.
According to eco-fascism, these crises can be
attributed to overpopulation, immigration and
the democratic systems’ failure to address them.
Video games and video game communication
applications were increasingly used in 2020
to share right-wing terrorist and extremist
propaganda, in particular among young people.
Right-wing extremists continued to use a variety
of online platforms, from static websites to
social media and messenger services.
In the EU, Turkish ultranationalists were
involved in confrontations with critics of
Turkish government policies, including Kurdish
Among right-wing extremists also, COVID-19 was observed
to accelerate the trend of spreading propaganda online,
rather than offline. EU Member States noted an increase
in transnational right-wing activities online, while in-person
contact was limited by COVID-19 restrictions on movement.
Right-wing extremists exploited COVID-19 to
support their narratives of accelerationism and conspiracy
theories featuring anti-Semitism, and anti-immigration and
anti-Islam rhetoric. Left-wing and anarchist extremists also
incorporated criticism of government measures to combat
the pandemic into their narratives.
The level of activity concerning explosiverelated
attacks linked to right-wing terrorism
or extremism did not increase further
compared to 2019 and the identified trends.
The methods still included the commission
of arson and explosive attacks with simple
improvised incendiary devices (IIDs) or IEDs
constructed with readily available materials. In
addition, some incidents once more showed
that right-wing terrorists were still interested in
and capable of manufacturing more complex
HMEs, such as TATP and nitroglycerine.
Right-wing extremists discussed methods to use
COVID-19 as a weapon: close contact, airborne and fomite
transmissions were suggested as sources of contamination
targeting minorities, politicians, police officers and
medical staff. Shipping of contaminated products was
also suggested. Taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis,
right-wing extremists further suggested attacks on critical
infrastructure, governmental facilities and the use of cyanide
to contaminate drinking products.
Links to larger criminal networks appear to be less common.
Nevertheless, an overlap between organised crime groups
and right-wing extremists, in particular with regard to
weapons procurement and drug trafficking, has been
observed. In January 2020 in Mallorca, for example, Spain
arrested 16 members of United Tribuns Nomads Spain,
the Spanish chapter of an international organisation linked
to drug trafficking and sexual exploitation of women. Part
of the group’s proceeds in Spain was used to finance its
members’ activities in violent right-wing extremist groups,
including football hooligans and neo-Nazi groups38. Also
in Spain, a transnational group trafficking in weapons,
including military weapons, was dismantled in late 2020. The
group was providing weapons to drug trafficking networks in
southern Spain. Three individuals were arrested, including a
German citizen who was linked to right-wing extremist and
neo-Nazi networks and had at his home a collection of Nazi
objects, uniforms and flags.
Organisations can rely on their members for funding
activities. Violent right-wing extremist organisations in
Finland and Sweden, for example, finance their activities
mainly through membership fees and donations from their
members and supporters. Poland observed that, in addition
to collections from members, right-wing extremist groups
fund their activities through legal private businesses run
by members or by selling nationalist paraphernalia.
The number of convictions for right-wing terrorism
increased in 2020 (11) compared to 2019 (6). In Germany,
eight German nationals appeared before the Higher Regional
Court of Dresden on charges of participation in a terrorist
organisation and, in one case, leadership of a terrorist
organisation. Five of the defendants were also charged with
other offences of breach of the peace and grievous bodily
harm. The court determined that, in September 2018, the
defendants set up an extremist, right-wing orientated chat
group with the aim of initiating a violent overthrow of the
existing social order. They had planned demonstrations
to take place on the 4 October National Day in Berlin and
considered using firearms. A few days before that, a trial run
took place in the Schlossteichinsel area of Chemnitz, during
which five members of the group were arrested. Further
planning by the defendants was revealed, partly from data
saved on their mobile phones. On 24 March 2020, the court
found all eight defendants guilty. The leader of the group
was sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment,
while the other seven defendants were given prison
sentences between two years and three months and three
years and nine months.
In Lithuania, on 18 September 2020 the Vilnius Regional
Court sentenced one defendant to a prison term of two
years and four months after it established that the man,
who belonged to the right-wing extremist group Feuerkrieg
Division (FKD, ‘Fire War Division’), attempted to commit an
act of terrorism. On 5 October 2019, he placed an improvised
explosive device (IED) at a building but it failed to explode.
He was also convicted of holding explosives for terrorist
purposes and a firearms-related offence.
The average prison term for separatist and right-wing
terrorism-related offences in 2020 was six years, and for
left-wing terrorism-related offences it was five years. This
average is higher than the average for right-wing terrorismrelated
offences (three years) and separatist terrorismrelated
offences (four years), and lower than the average for
left-wing terrorism-related offences in 2019 (19 years).