Europol: Warns that threat of far-right violence is growing worldwide

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Europol: Warns that threat of far-right violence is growing worldwide

Two recent attacks, one in the US and the other in Slovakia, involving gunmen believed to be from the far-right, “clearly show a worrying increase in far-right violent and terrorist acts on a global scale,” Europol said.

The threat of far-right, cross-border online communities launching attacks is growing, Europe’s police service warned today, following an operation which found more than 800 examples of violent or “terrorist” content.

Two recent attacks, one in the US and the other in Slovakia, involving gunmen believed to be from the far-right, “clearly show a worrying increase in far-right violent and terrorist acts on a global scale,” Europol said.

“The perpetrators of these attacks belonged to cross-border, online communities and were inspired by other violent and terrorist extremists,” the statement added.

Europol and the security forces of 13 EU countries and Britain organized a “day of action” last Thursday to identify extremist and violent content online – mainly live broadcasts, manifestos, claims of responsibility and celebrations of attacks. This operation resulted in the identification of 831 examples on 34 platforms. “The threat of violent extremism and terrorism is on the rise,” the European agency said.

Europol gave as examples two attacks attributed to far-right extremists and possibly linked to online content. The first was the massacre of ten African-Americans by white supremacist Peyton Gedron in Buffalo, New York, last May. The second was in Bratislava by a “radicalized teenager”, the son of a far-right party official, who killed two men outside a gay bar in October.

These attacks demonstrate the key role online propaganda plays in the radicalization process, Europol said.

Another recent example of the rise of far-right violence in Europe is the arrest of 25 conspirators in Germany earlier this month. Prosecutors say the Reich Citizens group intended to violently overthrow the government and install a government of its own. Terrorism experts believe that they were inspired by online conspiracy theories and mainly the QAnon theory.

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