The last year witnessed over 1000 attacks on accommodation for asylum-seekers in Germany. Crimes include arson, various forms of destructive vandalism, as well as the defacement of the shelters with propaganda symbols such as swastikas. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), three quarters of the perpetrators live in the vicinity of the shelters. Most of them are not known to the authorities previously as sympathisers with right-wing extremism or Neo-Nazism. The lack of intelligence on the attackers further hampers police investigations, leading to a very low number of cases being solved. According to the BKA, internet and social media served as prime recruiting devices of extremist ideologues. At the same time however, the attacks were generally not centrally planned and coordinated; rather, they emerged out of the more spontaneous banding together of like-minded individuals on the internet.

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