Thursday, December 8, 2022

Germany conducts raids on far-right groups suspected of plotting to install a prince in a coup

Germany raids far-right group over plot to install prince in coup

 BERLIN: Germany detained 25 members and supporters of a far-right group on Wednesday. According to the prosecutor's office, the group was preparing a violent overthrow of the state to install a prince who had sought support from Russia as the nation's leader.

According to the prosecution, suspects were also detained in Austria and Italy. A member of the German nobility, a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and a Russian citizen who was accused of supporting the group's plans were among those detained. 52 individuals were under investigation, according to the prosecution. The efforts of the group were slammed by AfD. The deep state conspiracy theories of Germany's Reichsbuerger and QAnon, whose supporters were among those arrested following the storming of the US Capitol in January 2021, were said to have served as inspiration for the group, according to the prosecution. Citizens of the Reich, or Reichsbuergers, do not recognize Germany today as a legitimate nation. Some of them are committed to the monarchical German empire, while others support Nazi ideas and believe that Germany is under military occupation.

According to Germany's privacy law, the plot had a former member of a German royal family named Heinrich XIII serving as the head of a new state. Prosecutors claimed that the group had imitated the government's structure by establishing a "council" that had regularly met since November 2021 as an administration in waiting with various departments like health and foreign affairs. Prosecutors added that the group had been buying gear, trying to get new members, and holding shooting lessons. They stated that members of the military and police officers were the primary targets of the recruitment efforts.

According to the prosecution, Heinrich 71, who goes by the name "prince" and is a descendant of the royal House of Reuss, which had previously ruled over a portion of Germany, had contacted representatives from Russia, whom the group considered to be its primary point of contact for establishing its new order. It stated that there was no proof that the representatives had granted the request. The Place of Reuss had recently limited any association with Heinrich, calling him a confounded man whopursued fear inspired notions. Both the Prince's office and the House of Reuss did not respond to inquiries for comment.

Prosecutors said that a Russian citizen named "Vitalia B" was "strongly suspected" of helping Heinrich get in touch with Moscow. An inside service representative said security offices were checking out intently at any conceivable contact with Russia. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin's press secretary, stated that the alleged far-right plot "appears to be a German internal problem." The Kremlin denied any involvement by Russia. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated, "The German government will respond with the full force of the law." Faeser said, "The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from the Reichsbuerger milieu," and he went on to say that the constitutional state was able to protect itself from "the enemies of democracy."

Prosecutors stated that investigators suspect individual members of the group had specific plans to storm the Bundestag, Berlin's lower house of parliament, with a small armed group. The Reichsbuerger movement is attributed to approximately 21,000 individuals by the domestic intelligence agency of Germany, with approximately 5% of these individuals regarded as far-right extremists.

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