"Conditions similar to civil war": They wanted to kidnap Lauterbach: Suspected terrorist group charged - authority publishes details of planned coup

By attacking the power supply and kidnapping Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), they wanted to provoke "civil war-like conditions" and thus eliminate democracy in Germany: Nine months after the breakup of a group from the lateral thinker milieu allegedly working towards a coup, the federal prosecutor's office has five suspects charged.

"Conditions similar to civil war": They wanted to kidnap Lauterbach: Suspected terrorist group charged - authority publishes details of planned coup

By attacking the power supply and kidnapping Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), they wanted to provoke "civil war-like conditions" and thus eliminate democracy in Germany: Nine months after the breakup of a group from the lateral thinker milieu allegedly working towards a coup, the federal prosecutor's office has five suspects charged. As the authority announced on Monday in Karlsruhe, it is about, among other things, allegations of the founding of a terrorist organization and preparations for high treason.

The suspects, four men and one woman, were arrested in April and October last year and have been in custody since then. According to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, they should answer before the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate. It must first examine the indictment before a trial can be opened.

According to the results of investigations by the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the group wanted to eliminate democracy and take over state power in order to introduce "an authoritarian system of government based on the model of the German Empire". To this end, they wanted to bring about "civil war-like conditions". The prelude to this should be attacks on the power supply, which should cause a longer nationwide power blackout.

According to the indictment, Health Minister Lauterbach was then kidnapped in an armed attack, with his bodyguards possibly being killed. The group wanted to use the resulting chaos to set up a "constituent assembly" in Berlin, depose the government and install a "leader", as the federal prosecutor explained.

Accordingly, the accused, who are said to have networked and exchanged ideas in chat groups and in real meetings for several months, have already made concrete preparations for their plan to overthrow. Among other things, there were those responsible for planning the attacks on the power supply and the kidnapping of Lauterbach. In addition, it was planned to get several tons of weapons and explosives from the former Yugoslavia.

Specifically, according to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the defendants are to answer to the Koblenz Higher Regional Court for founding or being a member of a domestic terrorist organization and preparing a highly treasonable company against the federal government. Some of the accused are also charged with other crimes, such as preparing for a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state.

In December of last year, the security authorities also smashed another terrorist group from the Reich citizen scene, which is also said to have planned to eliminate democracy by military means. 25 people were arrested, the accused also include a former AfD member of parliament and an active soldier. The group is said to have planned, among other things, an attack on the Bundestag and the formation of a military transitional government in Germany.

The four male suspects in the case of the now accused conspiracy were arrested in April 2022, one of them, according to the federal prosecutor, after the purchase of two AK-47 assault rifles and four pistols. The female suspect was only caught a few months later in October. Four of the accused, including the woman, classifies the federal prosecutor as a ringleader. At that time, raids were carried out in several federal states.

The accused Elisabeth K. is said to have been the group's ideological mastermind. In their opinion, the German Empire, which was founded in 1871 and fell at the end of the First World War in 1918, still exists today, and according to the investigators, the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany therefore has no validity for them.

Lauterbach, who was intended to be the kidnapping victim, expressed relief at the indictment on Monday. He thanks all investigators for their work, he explained and at the same time reminded of the bodyguards for politicians provided by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). "The BKA officials are risking their lives for us - that's a great achievement."

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