Videos of a group of masked, armed men being led in military-style drills by a right-wing former presidential candidate has raised considerable concern in Slovenia.
Slovenian police said Tuesday they have launched an investigation after video footage and photos appeared on social media.
Nationalist politician Andrej Sisko has confirmed the existence of the group, but he denied that it was doing anything illegal, telling Reuters news agency it was a voluntary defense force consisting of “several hundred people.”
Sisko told Reuters his group would secure order if necessary.
Interior Minister Vensa Gyorkos Znidar said authorities will not tolerate the existence of any parallel armed groups in Slovenia.
Sisko, who won some two percent of votes in last year's presidential election, is known for his nationalist and anti-immigrant stance. His United Slovenia Movement party didn’t make it to parliament in June’s election.
He lost to President Borut Pahor, who has expressed concern about the existence of Sisko’s armed group.
“President Pahor stresses that Slovenia is a safe country in which no unauthorized person needs or is allowed to ... illegally care for the security of the country and its borders,” Pahor’s Cabinet said in a statement.