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Conspiracy Watch | The Conspiracy Observatory

Category: Europe

Far-right extremists stage rural land grab across Germany

A strategic rural land grab by rightwing extremists is taking place across Germany with the concerted aim of creating communities independent of the state, according to the domestic intelligence agency and government ministries. Authorities and NGOs monitoring far-right groups say the members of the Reichsbürger movement who reject the post-1945 German state are making a […]
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Why did a far-right MP take a fire extinguisher to a Jewish menorah just as Poland’s new government was being voted into power?

In an attack caught on video, a member of the Polish parliament (Sejm) used a fire extinguisher to put out the Hanukkah candles on a menorah positioned in a public area of the building, filling the room with mist and covering bystanders with foam. Grzegorz Braun, an MP for the far-right alliance Konfederacja, then stated […]
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Post-Pandemic Developments of 'Reichsbürger' and Sovereignists in Germany

In the CeMAS report titled “From the Crisis to the Reich”, significant trends within the conspiracy-ideological sovereignist milieu of “Reichsbürger” and other groups in Germany since the COVID-19 pandemic are analyzed. The report characterizes conspiracy-ideological sovereignism as a component of the German far right with a longstanding antisemitic tradition. The sovereignist milieu promotes a political […]
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Pro-Kremlin sources spread conspiracy theory alleging US ‘climate weapons’ caused storm in Crimea

A severe storm system moved through the Black Sea this week, impacting occupied Crimea and parts of Ukraine and Russia, leaving millions without heat and power. Amid the storm, pro-Kremlin sources re-circulated an old conspiracy theory suggesting US-based entities were complicit in the storm’s creation. The conspiracy theory accuses the United States of having a technological program that can control the […]
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New report: How conspiracy groups in Spain worked to undermine the media literacy project of the Maldita.es foundation

The International Press Institute (IPI) has released a big-data case study exposing a campaign to intimidate and discredit the Spanish foundation Maldita.es earlier this year. Maldita.es, an nonprofit organization of journalists that exposes falsehoods and misinformation, became the subject of a campaign by conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, and denialists in the run-up to the municipal and […]
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How Telegram became the most important Platform for Conspiracy Ideologies

Within the past three years, Telegram has become the most important platform for conspiracy ideologues and right-wing extremists in German-speaking countries. Using this messaging service, numerous channels reach hundreds of thousands of people every day – and for some messages, the number of views is in the millions. The messaging service was used, for example, […]
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Why conspiracy theorists and the Kremlin echo each other's disinformation

"Look at what they're doing with their own people!" In his address to the nation on February 21, Vladimir Putin accused the West of having made pedophilia "the norm." A wild attack typical of the Kremlin leader, but one which resonated with the most far-out conspiracy circles, such as the QAnon community which spreads disinformation […]
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Zelenskyy, ‘Denazification’ and the Redirection of Holocaust Victimhood

As with many global crises, the online far-right is attempting to frame Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through their existing worldview. Indeed, far-right conspiracy theorists have reacted to the war by doing what they do best; conspire and theorise. Antisemitism remains a central component of the extreme-right worldview. Conspiracy theories such as the Great Replacement are […]
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The secret labs conspiracy: a converging narrative

“The United States has deployed more than 200 military biological laboratories across the world. Among them, more than 30 have been exposed. The rest are hidden in unknown places. They may be right beside you”, an alarming message warned YouTube users in a video shared on the 21st of May. The creators of the video […]
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