A new Center for Analysis and Research (ZAF), founded by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, made its first public appearance with a conference on “Extremism and socialization”. The research center, supposed to improve the analytical capacity of the national secret services, is still under construction.
According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, there should be an independent scientific advisory board for the ZAF. Guidelines for the publication of research results have also been established. This is important because most of the work of the Constitutional Protection Office takes place in secret.
The conference, in which researchers from various universities participate, focuses on right-wing extremists and Islamists and more specifically on the factors that promote radicalization. From conversations with convicted Islamist terrorists, he discovered that the “fear of hell” was a determining factor for some of them, reported a speaker. Michaela Pfundmair of the Federal University of Public Administration stressed that the feeling of being excluded from a group plays a role among radical Islamists as well as among right-wing extremists.
In early September, some scientists criticized the concept. In an article they published under the title “Objection”, it is said that cooperation partners run the risk of being used as suppliers “for officially prescribed purposes without being able to have an equal word on the whole. data collection, publications and interpretations. “. In addition, it is to be expected “that the delineation between officially controlled and free scientific research and documentation will create considerable distrust in some of the individuals and groups sought and reduce the willingness to provide information on the part of individuals. wanted ”. The signatories also include right-wing extremism researchers Matthias Quent and Heike Radvan from the Brandenburg Cottbus-Senftenberg University of Technology, who deals, among other things, with the prevention of right-wing extremism.
Jérôme Endrass, head of the forensic psychology working group at the University of Constance, says he has not had bad experiences in cooperation with the security authorities. He contributed to the development of an analysis tool for the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) to assess the risk of Islamist terrorist threats (Radar-ITE). Endrass said that working with such an agency gives researchers the opportunity to “participate in something that is of great practical relevance.” This is very important for him personally, especially since it is also a question of “filtering” out of the system those who are unlikely to commit crimes. In addition, scientists involved in such projects have received a good database for their research.
The disadvantage? “You can’t publish your results the way you want,” Endrass explains. For example, virtually nothing is publicly known about the biographies and personal experiences of Islamists that could lead Radar-ITE to identify them as high-risk individuals. (dpa)