About 3000 German cops swooped down on 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states, detaining members of the so-called Reichsbürger (Reich Citizens) movement, which allegedly rejects Germany’s post-war constitution.
Nearly 3,000 German police officers carried out raids across 130 sites in 11 states of Germany on Wednesday, December 7, against suspected far-right extremists who allegedly plotted to overthrow the government in an armed coup. As per the officials, 25 people were detained, The Washington Post reported.
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The detained members belong to a group, which included members of the so-called Reichsbürger (Reich Citizens) movement, who allegedly reject Germany’s post-war constitution and have called for bringing down the government. However, the federal police have said it does not yet know the particular group’s name which is associated with the movement, reported BBC.
The Reichsbürger movement has been under the radar of the German police for violent attacks and racist conspiracy theories. The police have arrested the two alleged "ringleaders" during the raids, the report added. A minor aristocrat, Prince Heinrich XIII (referred to as a prince in the European nation), is alleged to have been central to the group’s plans.
An estimated 50 men and women are alleged to be associated with the group. These members are said to have plotted to overthrow the republic and replace it with a new state modelled on the Germany of 1871, which is an empire called the Second Reich.
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As per the federal prosecutor's office, the group had been plotting a violent coup since November 2021 and members of its central ‘Rat’ (council) were holding regular meetings. The suspects realised that their aim could only be achieved by military means and with force, the prosecutors said, as per the Washington Post.
The group had already firmed plans to rule Germany with departments covering health, justice and foreign affairs and their plans included carrying out killings of state representatives.n Investigators got wind of the group when they uncovered a kidnapping plot last April involving a gang called United Patriots.
The gang was also associated with the Reichsbürger movement and had allegedly planned to abduct Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and create "civil war conditions" to end Germany's democracy. German News organisation Der Spiegel reported that Germany's special forces unit the KSK may also be involved in the planned coup. It has been scrutinised over alleged far-right involvement in the past.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party, known by its German acronym AfD, is also believed to be involved. The party has increasingly come under scrutiny due to its ties with extremists.