Plans to overthrow: 25 arrests during a major raid on the Reich citizen scene

They are said to have planned a coup and trained in part with weapons: the federal prosecutor's office had 25 people from the so-called Reich citizen scene arrested.

Plans to overthrow: 25 arrests during a major raid on the Reich citizen scene

They are said to have planned a coup and trained in part with weapons: the federal prosecutor's office had 25 people from the so-called Reich citizen scene arrested. Around 3,000 police officers were on duty in eleven federal states on Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe told the German Press Agency. The terrorist organization wanted to overthrow the state system in Germany and replace it with its own, the basics of which had already been worked out. She would have accepted death for that.

22 of those arrested are said to be members of this terrorist organization, two of them ringleaders. Three others are considered supporters. There are also 27 other suspects, said the spokeswoman. More than 130 objects were searched.

"We don't have a name for this association yet," the spokeswoman said. According to the findings, this is based on conspiracy myths. The members are firmly convinced that Germany is currently governed by members of a so-called deep state, a "deep state", it said in a statement. According to this conviction, an attack by a technically superior secret society of governments, intelligence services and the military of various countries, including the Russian Federation and the United States of America, is imminent.

"Desired takeover of power in Germany"

The people should have founded the group by the end of November 2021 at the latest. The central body is a "council". Similar to the cabinet of a regular government, this has departments such as justice, foreign affairs and health. "The members of the "council" have met regularly since November 2021 in order to plan the intended takeover of power in Germany and the establishment of their own state structures," said the federal prosecutor.

A "military arm" should also "eliminate" the democratic constitutional state at community, district and municipal level, it said. The association is aware that there will be deaths. "However, it at least accepts this scenario as a necessary intermediate step to achieve the "system change at all levels" it is aiming for." Some suspected members of the military arm would have done active service in the Bundeswehr.

Above all, they would have wanted to recruit members of the Bundeswehr and the police for the planned overthrow of the state. At at least four meetings in Baden-Württemberg in the summer, suspected members promoted the terrorist organization and its goals. In the fall, suspects in northern Germany specifically wanted to win over police officers for the association. Members of the "military arm" scouted out Bundeswehr barracks in Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria "to inspect their suitability for housing their own troops after the overthrow."

Also suspected KSK soldier

The investigations of the federal prosecutor's office are also aimed at a soldier from the Bundeswehr's Special Forces Command (KSK) and several Bundeswehr reservists. The active soldier was deployed on the KSK staff, said a spokesman for the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD). According to information from the dpa, it is a non-commissioned officer. Accordingly, his house and office in the Graf Zeppelin barracks in Calw (Baden-Württemberg) were searched.

According to the information, people were arrested in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Thuringia and one person each in Austria and Italy. There were also searches in Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. The federal prosecutor's office wanted to start questioning the first arrested on Wednesday, the spokeswoman said.

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann described the nationwide raid as an "anti-terrorist operation". "Democracy is defensive: A major anti-terrorist operation has been taking place since this morning," wrote the FDP politician on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

The starting point of the investigation is said to be connections between members of the now dismantled association and members of the "United Patriots" group, who were arrested in April and are said to have planned to kidnap Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD).

Protection of the Constitution: Scene has around 21,000 followers

"Reich citizens" are people who do not recognize the Federal Republic and its democratic structures. They often refuse to pay taxes. Often they are in conflict with authorities. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution ascribes around 21,000 followers to the scene.

According to the authorities, around five percent of them, i.e. around 1,150, are right-wing extremists. In 2021, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution attributed 1,011 extremist crimes to the "Reichsbürger und Selbstverwalter" scene.

During a raid in 2016, a so-called Reich citizen shot four police officers in Georgensgmünd, Bavaria. One of them succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The special task force wanted to confiscate the hunter's weapons.

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