BERLIN (AP) The German domestic intelligence agency says it is stepping up observation of the far-right Identitarian Movement in Germany, a group that campaigns against immigrants and Islam.
The agency, known by its German acronym BfV, announced Thursday that the group has "passed beyond the stage of suspicion" and is now considered "a verified extreme right movement."
The assessment gives the BfV additional powers of surveillance against the group, which was founded in 2012 and is estimated to have about 600 members.
The Identitarian Movement in Germany, which has sister organizations in other European countries, has so far refrained from openly engaging in the kind of street violence that neo-Nazi groups are known for.
BfV chief Thomas Haldenwang accused the group of "intellectual arson," saying: "There mustn't be any tolerance of extremists."