Spy chief warns authoritarian states stoking anti-government mood in Germany

BERLIN (AP) — The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency warned Monday of a rise in anti-government extremist groups seeking to divide society and topple the government, which receive support by authoritarian states such as Russia. German security agencies have disrupted several plots in recent years by small groups accused of planning attacks on critical infrastructure, government officials and even the national parliament. While it is unclear how far advanced such plans were, authorities are alarmed that the groups had acquired weapons. Thomas Haldenwang, who heads the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, told The Associated Press Monday that extremists are looking to authoritarian regimes like Russia and receiving active support from those countries.