25 members of a far-right group suspected of planning a coup have been arrested in Germany | International

Police officers guard this Wednesday one of the places in Berlin where arrests or searches have taken place.
Police officers guard this Wednesday one of the places in Berlin where arrests or searches have taken place.CHRISTIAN MANG (REUTERS)

German security forces have arrested 25 members and supporters of an extreme right-wing group on Wednesday suspected of planning a coup d’etat and intending to use “military means” to attack state representatives. More than 3,000 agents from different police forces have participated in an operation carried out in 11 of the 16 federal states to arrest a total of 52 people, as reported by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.

Police officers guard this Wednesday one of the places in Berlin where arrests or searches have taken place.
Photo: CHRISTIAN MANG (REUTERS)

The investigators assure that the detainees belong to a terrorist organization founded no later than the end of November 2021, which aims to overthrow “the existing state order in Germany and replace it with its own form of government,” says the Prosecutor’s Office. The members of the association are aware, he adds, that their objective can only be achieved through the use of military means and violence against the representatives of the State. “This also includes committing homicides,” the statement said. The defendants are united by a deep rejection of state institutions and the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The operation to arrest all identified members of the organization is still ongoing. The 22 members of the group arrested so far are of German nationality. Security forces have also arrested three other people believed to be sympathizers with the terrorist group. In this case it is two Germans and a Russian. To the arrests, which have also occurred in Austria and Italy, are added raids and searches in 130 properties in German states.

The alleged leaders of the group have been identified as Heinrich XIII PR and Rüdiger v. Q. All the defendants are united by their rejection of state institutions and are followers of a conglomerate of conspiracy myths of the Reichsburger and QAnon ideologies. To achieve their goal of subverting the current order, the group intended to form a transitional military government with which to negotiate the new order in Germany with the victorious Allied powers of World War II, an idea of ​​the so-called Reichsburger (Reich citizens). . The main contact for these negotiations was Russia, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. In fact, Heinrich XIII had already contacted representatives of that country, although there is no record that he had received a positive response to his intentions.

Preparations to carry out the coup have intensified since the end of November 2021, according to the researchers. The detainees had been meeting in secret for at least that time to plan the coup. They planned “administration-like structures” including appointing potential ministers from the various departments, recruited new members, purchased equipment, and set up a shooting training range. They were organized in a “council” chaired by Heinrich XIII, who was considered the future head of state within the association. A certain Thomas T. would be his personal advisor and there would also be a regular government that would deal with foreign affairs or health.

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The suspects have been detained in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Thuringia, as well as Austria and Italy. The operation remains open and more arrests are expected.

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