German police arrest 25 suspects in plot to overthrow state – DW – 12/07/2022 (2024)

In a nationwide raid, 25 suspected members and supporters of a terrorist organization in Germany were arrested early Wednesday.

Officials said the network, part of a wider right-wing movement, was already well established with aconcrete planto overthrow the German state by force and install a new government.

What we know so far

The raids were announced by Germany's federal prosecution agencyand German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann.The minister said the investigations were directed against a suspected terrorist network with known ties to theReichsbürger movement. Hesaid that the raids had taken place on individuals suspected of planning an armed attack on state institutions.

"The suspicion exists that an armed attack on constitutional organs was planned," Buschmann wrote.

The search operation is reported to have covered 130 properties belonging to 52 suspects in 11 German states.

According to prosecution officials, the arrested suspects "belong to a terrorist organization" that was believed to have been founded at the end of November 2021.

The group "set itself the goal of overcoming the existing state order in Germany and replacing it with its own form of state, which has already been worked out in outline," prosecutors added.

Of the 25 men and women arrested, 24 were from Germany and one suspected supporter is from Russia. One arrest took place in Austria and one in Italy. There are 27 other suspects, the federal prosecutor's office said.

Later on Wednesday it was confirmed bythe Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe, southern Germany,that 19 of the 25 suspects werealready in pre-trial detention.

The United States hasoffered support to the German government in the wake of the arrests.

"We remain in close contact with our partners in government and stand ready to help if we are asked to do so," said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday.

Two ringleaders identified

Prosecutors identified the suspected ringleaders only as Heinrich XIII P. R. and Ruediger v. P., in line with German privacy rules.

The news magazine Der Spiegel reported that the former was a well-known 71-year-old member of a minor German noble family, while the latter was a 69-year-old former paratrooper.

According to prosecutors, P. R., who the group planned to install as the new leader of Germany, had made contact with Russian officials seeking to establish a new order in Germany once the Berlin government was overthrown.

A Russian woman, Vitalia B., had allegedly given him help with this.The Russian Embassy in Berlindenied having links to far-right terror groups.

Concern over extremists in German state institutions

A currently-servingsoldier in the Bundeswehr's Special Forces Command (KSK) as well as several Bundeswehr reservists are also among suspects in the case, a spokesperson for Germany's Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) told the DPA news agency.

A search was reported to have been carried out at the soldier's home and his barracks office in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The trigger for the raids was an investigation into another Reichsbürger group thathad planned to kidnap German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach.

GermanInterior Minister Nancy Faeser said the case revealed the threat posed by the Reichsbürgermovement.

"The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from the Reichsbürger scene," Faeser said in a statement. "We know how to defend ourselves with all our might against the enemies of democracy," she added.

The president of the German parliament's lower house,Bärbel Bas, said the operation shows "that our democratic constitutional state is attentive and capable of action."

Belief in violence to overthrow 'deep state'

The group had targeted members of the Bundeswehr and police in a bid to achieve their goals. It had formed a "military arm" and a council presided over by Heinrich XIII P. R.

Speaking at a press conference, Germany's chief federal prosecutor, Peter Frank, said that the organization had formed around P. R. at the end of November 2021.

Frank said the group had establisheda council that was intended to act as the government of the new state with some individuals already designated for ministerial roles.

Among themwas a former member of the Bundestag who was to take over the justice portfolio, Frank said.

To implement their plans, the group's memberswere prepared to usemilitary means and violence against state representativesand were willing to kill to achieve their goals.

According to investigators, the members of the group "followed a conglomerate of conspiracy myths consisting of narratives of the so-called 'Reichsbürger' as well as QAnon ideology."

The prosecutorsadded that the group's adherentsbelieve Germany is ruled by a so-called "deep state,"similar to baseless claims about the United States that were made by former President Donald Trump.

The Reichsbürger movementis made up of a number of small organizationsand individuals, mainly in the states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bavaria.

They do not accept the legality of the Federal Republic of Germany or any of its government authorities.

The movementargues that the German constitution prior to World War II was never properly nullified and that the formation of the former West Germany in 1949, and now reunified Germany, was therefore never valid.

jsi, rc/msh (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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German police arrest 25 suspects in plot to overthrow state – DW – 12/07/2022 (2024)


German police arrest 25 suspects in plot to overthrow state – DW – 12/07/2022? ›

In a nationwide raid, 25 suspected members and supporters of a terrorist organization in Germany were arrested early Wednesday. Officials said the network, part of a wider right-wing movement, was already well established with a concrete plan to overthrow the German state by force and install a new government.

What is the plot to overthrow Germany? ›

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, May 21 (Reuters) - A would-be prince, a former judge and parliamentarian, and retired military officers were among nine alleged conspirators who went on trial on Tuesday for a suspected "Reichsbuerger" plot to overthrow Germany's democracy.

What is the German plot 2022? ›

On 7 December 2022, 25 members of a suspected far-right terrorist group were arrested for allegedly planning a coup d'état in Germany.

What is the name of the police in Germany? ›

The only policing carried out on the federal level lies with the Federal Police (Bundespolizei, BPOL) and the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA).

Who did Germany have to give up land to? ›

The Versailles Treaty forced Germany to give up territory to Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Poland, return Alsace and Lorraine to France and cede all of its overseas colonies in China, Pacific and Africa to the Allied nations.

What did Germany take the blame for? ›

The treaty's so-called “war guilt” clause forced Germany and other Central Powers to take all the blame for World War I. This meant a loss of territories, reduction in military forces, and reparation payments to Allied powers.

What key events happened in Germany in 2022? ›

13 February – The 2022 German presidential election: Frank-Walter Steinmeier is re-elected. 17 February – The 58th Munich Security Conference is held. 27 March – 2022 Saarland state election: The SPD wins a landslide victory. 25 April – Anke Rehlinger is elected Minister-President of Saarland by the Landtag.

What is the purpose of coup d'état? ›

A coup d'état (/ˌkuːdeɪˈtɑː/; French: [ku deta]; lit. 'stroke of state'), or simply a coup, is typically an illegal and overt attempt by a military organization or other government elites to unseat an incumbent leadership.

What ideology is Germany 2022? ›

Germany is a representative democracy with a vibrant political culture and civil society. Political rights and civil liberties are largely assured in law and practice. The political system is influenced by the country's totalitarian past, with constitutional safeguards designed to prevent authoritarian rule.

Can police ask for ID in Germany? ›

If you are driving a vehicle, the police can ask for your ID, driver's license and vehicle registration document. The police can also ask you to stop and leave the vehicle. The police officers can also check whether you have a warning triangle and a first-aid kit with you.

Do you have to answer police questions in Germany? ›

If you are questioned by the police, you may refuse to make a statement. This means that you do not have to answer their questions. You should not answer the questions without a lawyer. If you receive a written invitation from the police, you do not have to go there.

Can you text the police in Germany? ›

Chat-based communication. nora lets you communicate with the emergency control centre via a text-based chat. However, the emergency control centre will also send help even if you don't use the chat.

What was the plan to destroy Germany? ›

The Morgenthau Plan was a proposal to weaken Germany following World War II by eliminating its arms industry and removing or destroying other key industries basic to military strength. This included the removal or destruction of all industrial plants and equipment in the Ruhr.

What led to the surrender of Germany? ›

With the death of Adolph Hitler on April 30, 1945, Germany had no other recourse but to surrender, which took place on May 7. Four countries assumed administrative control of Germany: United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France.

What caused Germany to lose territory? ›

Germany lost World War I. In the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, the victorious powers (the United States, Great Britain, France, and other allied states) imposed punitive territorial, military, and economic provisions on defeated Germany. In the west, Germany returned Alsace-Lorraine to France.

What caused the end of the German Empire? ›

The empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdication of Wilhelm II, which left the post-war federal republic to govern a devastated populace.


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