German coup plotters 'heavily armed and dangerous', says police chief

Published December 8, 2022
<p>Police secures the area after 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right group were detained during raids across Germany, in Berlin, Germany, Dec 7. — Reuters</p>

Police secures the area after 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right group were detained during raids across Germany, in Berlin, Germany, Dec 7. — Reuters

A German far-right group busted for plotting to topple the government was heavily armed and posed a real threat, the federal police chief said Thursday.

Those arrested on Wednesday included “a dangerous mix of people with irrational convictions, some with a lot of money and others in possession of weapons”, Holger Muench told the ARD broadcaster.

They had put in place “a plan that they also intended to carry out... That makes it dangerous and that is why we intervened,” he said.

Weapons were found in 50 of the locations searched, Muench said, including crossbows, rifles, and ammunition.

Fifty-four people are under investigation for links to the group, which prosecutors say was planning to overthrow the German state and install its own government.

Twenty-five people were arrested, including an ex-MP, former soldiers, and aristocrat and businessman Prince Heinrich XIII Reuss, who was reportedly earmarked to be Germany's new leader after the coup.

However, “We should not assume that a group with a few dozen members, maybe a hundred, is able to really challenge the state system in Germany,” Muench said.

More arrests are likely to be made, he added.

“We have identified other people whose status in relation to this group we do not yet know exactly,” he said.

The group is thought to be made up of supporters of the “Citizens of the Reich” (Reichsbuerger), an ideological movement in Germany that encompasses far-right extremists, conspiracy theorists, and gun enthusiasts.

The Reichsbuerger generally believe in the continued existence of the pre-World War I German Reich, or empire, under a monarchy and several groups declared their own states.

The group planning the plot had been under surveillance since the spring, Thomas Haldenwang, Germany's domestic security chief, told the RTL broadcaster.

“This is the first time a nationwide network has been set up with very concrete plans,” he added, stressing that there were “plans to overthrow the government, plans to actually implement an overthrow”.

There are around 21,000 Reichsbuerger in Germany, he said, around 10 percent of whom are considered likely to use violence.

Opinion

Editorial

Mianwali raid
Updated 02 Feb, 2023

Mianwali raid

The military needs to share intelligence with civilian agencies to neutralise the militant menace nationwide.
Corruption unlimited
02 Feb, 2023

Corruption unlimited

PAKISTAN’S consistent slide on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index over the last several...
Women police officers
02 Feb, 2023

Women police officers

IN a heartening development, a second female police officer has been appointed as DPO in Attock, weeks after the...
Road to perdition
Updated 01 Feb, 2023

Road to perdition

This is also the time of reckoning for those who sowed the seeds of a disastrous policy against militants.
Transport tragedies
01 Feb, 2023

Transport tragedies

TWO tragedies over the weekend illustrate the weak protocols governing the safety of transport in Pakistan. In fact,...
Disqualifying Jam Awais
01 Feb, 2023

Disqualifying Jam Awais

IT appears that there may be some kind of small punishment after all for PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was pardoned ...