Far-right groups are spreading conspiracy theories about an imminent total blackout and a collapse of the state order, a senior German intelligence officer warned on Friday.
Bernhard Witthaut, president of domestic intelligence agency in the German state of Lower Saxony, said particularly the right-wing Querdenker (lateral thinkers) movement is spreading conspiracy theories in connection with the energy crisis.
"These people are concerned with destabilizing society and the political system as a whole. The aim is to deliberately stir up hatred and fear to instrumentalize these emotions for their own purposes,” he told the German Press Agency (dpa).
Witthaut believes that "in these times, dealing with disinformation is one of the key challenges for our security authorities."
Witthaut said he was particularly concerned that extremism was becoming "delimited," with the trajectories of extremist radicalization increasingly shifting to the digital world.
"The days when extremists organized themselves into clearly definable groups are long gone," the top official said.
Extremist actors are increasingly and specifically seeking contact with the middle of society and are using topics that are currently widely discussed in society to do so, he added.