Germany reviewing surveillance of Scientology



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BERLIN (AP) - Germany's domestic intelligence service says it is reviewing its long-running surveillance of Scientology.

The agency, which tracks extremists in Germany, has monitored Scientology since the late 1990s and said in its latest annual report it considers the belief system "totalitarian" and a threat to democracy.

A spokeswoman for the agency on Tuesday confirmed German media reports over the weekend that its nationwide observation was being reviewed "as part of a process of prioritization."

She spoke on condition of anonymity according to agency regulations.

Interior Ministry spokesman Philipp Spauschus told reporters Monday there are no plans to stop surveillance of Scientology entirely.

A 2012 domestic intelligence report on Scientology claimed the group's membership in Germany had fallen by about 10 percent from a year earlier, to between 3,500 and 4,500.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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