Germany coup threats lead to far right extremist groups raids, 25 arrested
German officials have arrested at least 22 suspected members and three suspected supporters of a far-right extremist group across the European nation on Wednesday over suspicion of allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.
According to a statement released by the German federal prosecutor’s office, an estimated 50 people were suspected to have relations to or linked in some form with the group called Reich Citizens movement, founded around November 2021. These people are said to be plotting to overthrow the government in an armed coup and take charge of the country with their own order. “The accused are united by a deep rejection of state institutions and the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany, which over time has led to their decision to participate in their violent elimination and to engage in concrete preparatory actions for this purpose,” the statement said.
“The members of the group follow a conglomerate of conspiracy myths consisting of narratives of the so-called Reichsbürger as well as QAnon ideology,” the statement added describing the group to have ideologies similar to QAnon.
Federal prosecutors said 3,000 German officers had conducted extensive searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states against the members of the group called Reich Citizens movement. Twenty five people including a 71-year-old German aristocrat, a retired military commander and former MP for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) were detained over the alleged plotting for a coup to overthrow the government.
Justice Minister Marco Buschmann has described the raids as an “anti-terrorism operation,” adding that “the suspects may have planned an armed attack on institutions of the state”. Germany’s top security official added that the group was “driven by violent coup fantasies and conspiracy ideologies.”
In recent years, Germany has been struggling with the far right extremism in the country. In June 2020, an elite military unit of country known as the KSK was disbanded partially after it was “found to have a build-up of right wing extremists”.