Frankfurt / Main (dpa / lhe) – After the major raid on the “Reichsbürger” scene, the Frankfurt police researcher Tobias Singelnstein is alarmed about the suspects from the security authorities who have become known so far. “After Hannibal and Nordkreuz, a network has now become visible again that obviously has connections to the police and the Bundeswehr,” said the criminologist at Frankfurt’s Goethe University on Thursday of the German Press Agency. In these networks, right-wing extremists exchanged ideas, collected weapons and prepared for a “Day X”. But there were also connections to the so-called prepper scene. These are people who prepare extensively for emergencies and disasters because they don’t believe that state crisis management works.

“Not all “Reichsbürger” are right-wing extremists, but the overlaps are quite large and ideological fragments of the extreme right play a major role in this scene,” said Singelnstein. So far, little has been known from research on the subject of radicalization processes in security agencies. “The extreme right is less isolated today, their positions can sometimes be found in the political center – and that also blurs the boundaries in the police force,” said the scientist. “No one can say for sure whether there are more such networks, how big the overlaps between the extreme right and the police or the Bundeswehr really are.”

What challenges does this pose for the police and other security agencies whose members have service weapons? “When it comes to recruiting staff, more precise selections could be made, for example using personality tests,” said Singelnstein. The topics of racism and right-wing extremism should play a greater role in training.

The real problem is more in practice: “You have to ensure that consequences are drawn when people are noticed as problematic. That means, above all, for the middle management level of the service group leaders and their superiors, then to step in and do something it happens that whole service groups become independent and drift away.”

According to the federal prosecutor, the “Reichsbürger” group, which was targeted by the raid on Wednesday, is suspected of having formed a terrorist organization that wanted to use armed force to install a new government and would have accepted the dead. A suspected ringleader was arrested in Frankfurt. A total of 25 suspects were arrested.