A spokesman for the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) has called on the European Union and Germany to ban the far-left extremist group Antifa after U.S. President Donald Trump declared it would be designated a terrorist group.
AfD Spokesman on the Foreign Policy Committee of the German Bundestag Petr Bystron commended President Trump’s announcement made over the weekend in response to the ongoing riots raging across the United States.
“Donald Trump is doing the right thing in designating these violent extremist groups as terrorists. Antifa is an anti-democratic hate group whose radical left-wing ideology rejects the free market and freedom of speech,” Bystron said in a press release seen by Breitbart London.
“American Antifa is modelled on German Antifa and finds its supporters in the German mainstream media and politics. German Antifa stages regular violent attacks on AfD members like Frank Magnitz, hunted U.S. journalists like Tim Pool on the street in Hamburg at the G20 summit, and just two weeks ago put a union activist a coma in Stuttgart,” he added.
Bystron also noted that there had been alleged cases of meetings between the German branch of Antifa and members of American Antifa groups in Hamburg with members of the Islamic State terror group.
“The AfD, the largest opposition party in the German Bundestag, has been attacked and terrorised by Antifa for years, to the applause and encouragement of left-wing media and politicians,” Bystron said.
The AfD has recorded hundreds of violent incidents directed at members and supporters in recent years, from assaults to property damage and arson attacks.
Last year, Antifa extremists went as far as posting an “assassination guide” on the popular far-left platform Indymedia, directing others to kill AfD politicians.
“We urge the U.S. government to examine the international Antifa terror network all the way up to the highest levels in press and government, and issue travel bans and international arrest warrants where necessary and appropriate,” Bystron said.
While Bystron and the AfD expressed support for the designation of Antifa as terrorists, the German Social Democrats, one half of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition government, disagreed, stating on Twitter that the party itself was Antifa.
“157 and Antifa. Obviously,” the party’s official account wrote, referencing its 157-year age in response to co-leader Saskia Esken who wrote: “58 and Antifa. Obviously.”
The global threat of far-left extremism across Europe and North America has dramatically risen in recent months, from suspected large-scale sabotage of infrastructure and the discovery of a bomb-making headquarters in France to a recent attempt by far-left extremists to bomb the home of a Greek conservative former government minister.