Germany arrests several suspects in plotting far-right extremist coup

Police in Germany arrested 25 people on Wednesday who are suspected of planning to violently overthrow the government in a far-right extremist coup plot.

MAINZ (Germany) — 25 people were arrested Wednesday by authorities in Germany. They are accused of plotting to overthrow government officials in a extremist plot.

In one of the largest counterterrorism operations in Germany’s history, more than 3,000 police officers and special forces conducted 130 searches in the early hours of the morning in 11 of Germany’s 16 federal state.

The suspects are a nobleman who holds a historical royal title and several veterans of the armed forces. It centers on the so-called Reichsburger or Reich Citizens movement, which is motivated conspiracy theories about the legitimacy and role of the modern German government.

The arrestees will appear in court on Wednesday and Thursday. Additional 27 people were also searched for possible membership or support of the group.

“Democracy has resilience: A major antiterrorism operation has been occurring since this morning,” Marco Buschmann, German justice minister, wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.

“The Federal Public Prosecutor investigates a suspected terrorist network originating from the Reich citizen milieu. There are suspicions that an armed attack was planned on constitutional bodies.

According to the German prosecutor, the suspects are part of a terrorist group that was founded in November 2021. It aims to overthrow Berlin’s government and install its leaders through the “forceful elimination of the democratic constitution state”.

“The members are well aware that this project cannot be realized without the use of military force and violence against state representatives,” the prosecutor’s statement stated in a statement on Wednesday.

In the statement, it was stated that the group was motivated to reject the “free democratic fundamental order of the Federal Republic of Germany”.

According to prosecutors, some members of the “military arms” of the group are ex-members from the German army. A string of scandals involving members of far-right groups has engulfed the German Armed Forces.

A spokesperson for the German Military Security Service said that an active member of the military’s special forces (KSK), group was being investigated. However, the spokesperson stressed that he was not part of any special forces and could not confirm whether the suspect had been arrested.

Authorities claim that the group is heavily influenced right-wing conspiracy theories. This includes a belief in a malign, secretive “deep state” controlling the country, as shown in the QAnon movement. The Federal Republic of Germany does not consider itself a sovereign country and its members believe in conspiracy theories that are antisemitic. Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution stated.

Prosecutors said that the group believed that the Alliance, a group made up of intelligence services and national governments, was active in Germany, and is about to launch an attack against the “deep state.”

Authorities claimed that Heinrich XIII P.R was among the arrested. He is known in German media as Prince Heinrich XIII of House of Reuss. This House ruled over parts of Germany from 1918 to 1918. NBC News has not confirmed his identity.

According to prosecutors, he is considered to be the future head of state following an insurrection. He also heads the ruling council that has met to discuss the planned takeover.

Prince Heinrich, who despite being constitutionally irrelevant, still uses his title. He is accused of having contacted representatives of Russia both in Russia, and Germany to try to win support for overthrowing the Berlin government.

German prosecutors point out that there is no evidence that Russian officials responded positively to the request. Russia has not yet responded to the story.

Andy Eckardt reported in Mainz, Germany and Patrick Smith from London.

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