BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany on Wednesday detained 25 members and supporters of a far-right group that prosecutors said were preparing a violent overthrow of the state, with some members suspected of planning an armed attack on parliament.
Prosecutors said the group was inspired by conspiracy theories of QAnon and the Reichsbuerger, which do not recognize the legitimacy of modern Germany, insisting that the much larger “Deutsche Reich” still exists despite the Nazis’ defeat in World War II.
The plot envisioned a former member of a German royal family, identified as Heinrich XIII PR under Germany’s privacy law, as the leader in a future state, while another suspect, Ruediger v. P., was the head of the military branch, according to the prosecution.
Prosecutors said Heinrich, who uses the title “prince” and hails from the Royal House of Reuss, which ruled parts of eastern Germany, sought representatives from Russia, whom the group saw as its central contact in establishing the new order.
Still according to the prosecution, there is no evidence that the representatives have reacted positively to the request.
The Russian embassy in Germany said, according to the RIA news agency, that Russian diplomatic and consular institutions in Germany do not maintain contacts with representatives of terrorist groups and other illegal groups.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the government would respond with the full force of law against such efforts against the state and that further investigations would reveal the extent to which the group’s coup plans had advanced.
“The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from within the Reichsbuerger,” Faeser said in a statement, adding that the rule of law knows how to defend itself against “the enemies of democracy.”
An active-duty soldier and several reserve soldiers were also among those being investigated, a spokesman for the military intelligence service told Reuters.
The active-duty soldier is a member of the Bundeswehr’s elite KSK force, which has come under scrutiny in recent years over a series of far-right incidents.
Investigators suspect that some members of the group had concrete plans to storm the lower house of the Bundestag parliament in Berlin with a small armed group, the prosecution said.
In August 2020, protesters stormed the steps of the German Reichstag parliament building, some of them holding far-right flags, during mass demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency estimates around 21,000 people in the Reichsbuerger (Citizens of the Reich) movement, with around 5% of them seen as on the far right.
About 2,100 of the Reichsbuerger are prepared to use violence to achieve their goals, according to the agency’s 2021 annual report.
Source: CNN Brasil
Bruce Belcher is a seasoned author with over 5 years of experience in world news. He writes for online news websites and provides in-depth analysis on the world stock market. Bruce is known for his insightful perspectives and commitment to keeping the public informed.