The Rise of the Far Right Is a Global Security Threat - 2019-05-09
When Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz was elected in 2017 on an anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, nationalist platform, many observers (including yours truly) feared that the new government would empower right-wing extremists; those fears were confirmed a few months later when the far-right Freedom Party joined Kurz's coalition. The party took control of several key ministries, while its leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, became Kurz's vice-chancellor.
On Tuesday, the New York Times published a disturbing story on what the Freedom Party has been up to since then. Shortly after the party came to power, the Interior Ministry asked the anti-extremism unit of the domestic intelligence service to hand over the names of informants who had infiltrated the far-right community; the leader of that unit refused, and a few weeks later, "armed police burst into her office and carted away years' worth of domestic files as well as intelligence from allied nations."
This bears repeating: A government ministry demanded that a domestic intelligence agency expose the identities of its informants in violent extremist groups to officials sympathetic to those groups and, when rebuffed, proceeded to seize files from the agency by force in an illegal police raid.