Germany: After Tesla factory hit in terror attack, far left interior minister warns of rising left-wing extremism

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

After an arson attack on an electricity substation knocked out power to a Tesla factory along with tens of thousands of residents outside Berlin, the country’s far-left interior minister has issued a rare warning against left-wing extremism and its growing threat.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) referred to the attack on the Tesla factory in Grünheide telling the Rheinische Post newspaper: “Overall, the potential threat posed by left-wing extremism remains high.”

“The increased radicalization in parts of the violent scene in recent years has stabilized at a high level. The inhibition thresholds for attacking political opponents and the police with great brutality have fallen,” she warned.

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On Tuesday, suspected left-wing extremists from the “Volcano Group” set fire to a high-voltage pylon in the Oder-Spree district, releasing a letter that police believe is authentic, taking credit for the action directed at Elon Musk and his company.

As a result of the attack, several villages within Berlin and the Tesla plant saw their power cut, with the Tesla factory still unable to resume production. Tesla has already estimated the damage to go into the hundreds of millions, with some experts stating it will cost up to €1 billion.

Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) went so far as to label it an act of terror, saying: “Attacks on our critical infrastructure are a form of terrorism.”

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The latest report from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) from 2022 estimates that there are approximately 36,500 people within the far-left spectrum, and that a fourth of these are willing to use violence.

Brandenburg’s Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) also condemned the arson attack. The CDU politician assured the Bild newspaper that there would be “no pardon, this also applies to eco-terrorism.” The attack had “deliberately cut off thousands of people from basic services,” said Stübgen.

Faeser promised that her ministry was ready to participate in the investigation.

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“The perpetrators must be consistently brought to justice. If the federal security authorities can support the investigations of the state security department of the Brandenburg police, they are ready to do so at any time.”

Faeser has come under fire for her participation in far-left Antifa circles, including for writing an article for Antifa Magazine in 2022, with the paper having connections to groups labeled as extremist by the BfV.

Since last Thursday, around 100 left-wing activists from the “Stop Tesla” and “Robin Wood” groups are occupying the forest near the Tesla factory.

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