The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency says it has put the Identitarian Movement, a group that rails against "mass immigration" and calls for "an end to the Islamization of Europe," under observation.

Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of the BfV agency, told news agency dpa in comments published Friday that it sees "evidence of efforts against the free democratic order" in the group.

He said that the group appeared to have become more radical in agitating against asylum-seekers during Europe's refugee crisis, and that Muslim and other immigrants from the Middle East "are being vilified in extremist fashion."

The group has its roots in France and has been active in Germany since 2012. It was already under observation by regional intelligence agencies in nine of Germany's 16 states.