Germany arrests far-right suspects, ex-soldiers over coup plot
Baku, December 7, AZERTAC
German police arrested a group of far-right figures and ex-military officers for planning attacks to create nationwide chaos and seize power, authorities said on Wednesday, according to Anadolu Agency.
Twenty-five suspects were arrested after coordinated raids in 11 federal states, including Thuringia, Hesse and Lower Saxony, the Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
The majority of the suspects were supporters of the far-right Reichsburger movement, and they formed a terror group last year to overthrow the democratic, constitutional system in Germany, the prosecutors said.
In the large-scale raids, 3,000 security officers conducted searches at houses and offices of more than 50 suspects to gather evidence, and authorities seized various documents and electronic devices.
A former soldier of Germany's elite KSK special forces unit, and several reservists of the Bundeswehr, German army, were among the suspects.
According to the prosecutors, Heinrich Reuss, a descendant of a noble family, was the leading figure of the group.
Together with former German military officer Rudiger von P., they planned a military coup to overthrow the government and achieve a “system change” in the country, the prosecutors said.
The suspects held regular meetings and discussed their plans, and even nominated ministers for a post-coup government.
Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a former lawmaker of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), was among the suspects, and he was to be the justice minister, authorities said.
The members of the Reichsburger movement are groups and individuals who reject the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany and its legal system for various motives and on different grounds.
Many refuse to pay taxes and they are often in conflict with authorities. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency estimates that the scene has around 21,000 followers.