The AfD politician attended a public meeting on Thursday evening together with his staff. When they returned from the event, his staff noticed that the vehicle they were travelling in, had steering problems.
When they stopped and examined the wheels, they found several loose wheel nuts on all four wheels. Friesen suspects that left-wing extremists are behind the act of sabotage.
The police initially objected to the the AFD deputy’s suggestions of sabotage, German weekly Junge Freiheit reported. They said it was simply a matter of loose nuts on a wheel. Whether these had been unscrewed on purpose, or had loosened by themselves, is currently not being examined, they said. So far, the police have no indication of a politically motivated attack, said the spokeswoman for the National Police in Suhl, Cindy Beyer.
A short while later, however, the police released a statement in which they confirmed Friesen’s version: The wheel nuts on all four wheels had been loosened. “Whether there was a politically motivated act can not be said beyond all doubt at the moment. An expert will investigate the vehicle next week and possibly give some indication of the actual cause.”
Since the pressure of a vehicle is unevenly distributed, loosened wheel nuts can become extremely dangerous to the driver and passengers as well as other vehicles on the road and lead to a fatal accident.
Friesen called on the other parties to condemn the crime. “There are no first or second class victims here. Every day, a wave of violence spills over AfD members, our sympathizers and elected officials. Each and every form of trivialization, minimization and relativization [of these crimes] must end now.”
Friesen is tasked with internal security, migration and local politics in the AFD parliamentary group in the Thuringian state parliament.
In 2009 he was appointed as research assistant at the German Council on Foreign Relations, in Berlin, and in 2011 he became research assistant at the Ukraine Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, in Kiev, before joining the AfD.
AfD Group leader in the regional parliament, Björn Höcke called the incident an “assassination attempt” and demanded a reaction from State Premier Bodo Ramelow.
Friesen was shocked: “We all could have been dead.” He called it a “left-wing extremist attack”, which represented a new dimension of violence directed at AfD politicians.
The Suhl police confirmed to the regional newspaper, the Thueringer Allgemeine, that investigations into the incident have been taken over by the state’s security services. A possible political motive is therefore of particular interest because a politician was affected.
Höcke condemned the “cowardly assassination attempt” and added that he expected “that State Premier Ramelow to investigate this obvious assassination attempt”.
In spite of political differences, it should not come to such acts, Höcke concluded.