AfD parliamentary group nominates Gnauck: extremist in the defense committee

Status: 10.12.2021 4:59 p.m.

The soldier Gnauck, classified as an extremist by the military counter-intelligence service, is supposed to represent the AfD in the defense committee. He would also have access to secret meetings. There is sharp criticism of the nomination.

The AfD sends a soldier recognized by the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) as an extremist and elected to the Bundestag to the Defense Committee. The parliamentary group nominated Hannes Gnauck as one of four AfD members for the body, as participants in a parliamentary group meeting confirmed.

The Defense Committee is responsible for the parliamentary control of the Defense Department and the Bundeswehr. In some cases, discussions are also held in secret meetings when it comes to military security, armaments projects or cooperation with allies.

“Recognized extremist”

The AfD politician Gnauck had been in the focus of the constitutional protection authorities a long time ago. According to a report by the news portal “The Pioneer”, Gnauck had already attracted attention internally in 2019 and was initially listed as a suspected case. At the beginning of July, MAD classified Gnauck as a “recognized extremist”.

Gnauck had served as a personnel sergeant in the Bundeswehr. There, however, he was recently banned from duty for months on account of suspicion. Because of his election to the Bundestag, he was subsequently released from the Bundeswehr.

According to previous reports, he was also the ambassador of the AfD youth organization Junge Alternative in Brandenburg, which is classified as a suspected right-wing extremist case by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

In April 2020 he wrote in the “Compact-Magazin” popular in the right-wing scene, which at the time was listed as a suspected case by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. “My Bundeswehr: As a patriot in the ranks of the German army” is the title of the article. Meanwhile, the protection of the Constitution treats the magazine as “secured extremist endeavors”.

In July, Gnauck said on request that he would take legal action against his classification by the MAD.

Concerns also in the AfD parliamentary group

Before the parliamentary group meeting, some AfD MPs had concerns about the Gnauck personnel. According to information from party circles, this was probably one of the reasons why the consideration should be given to electing MP Peter Felser as a full member of the Defense Committee. In his application speech to the Defense Working Group, however, Felser indicated that he was also interested in becoming a member of the Agriculture Committee.

That is why Gnauck, who formulated a clear priority for the Defense Committee, finally made the race, reported participants at the meeting.

The personnel is now causing unrest and sharp criticism. When “The Pioneer” reported on plans for the nomination, the CSU defense politician Florian Hahn warned on Twitter of a “tangible scandal” and an “unheard of dam break”.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, nominated by the FDP as chairman of the defense committee, was also alarmed: “The fact that the AfD parliamentary group sends a representative to the defense committee that the MAD leads as a ‘recognized extremist’ not only mocks parliament, but also especially the soldiers, because this gives him access to secret and sensitive files that also and especially concern their security. “

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