Over two-dozen people were arrested in Germany on Wednesday for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government, the NY Times reports.
Around 3,000 German police and Special Forces officers were involved in the operation to detain individuals believed to be members of a domestic terrorist organization formed in late 2021, Reichsbürger [Citizens of the Reich] movement, with planned to overthrow the government and form their own state.
According to prosecutors, the group believes that “Germany is currently ruled by members of a so-called deep state” which needs to be overthrown.
Breaking News: Germany arrested dozens of people suspected of supporting a domestic terror organization that was planning to overthrow the government. https://t.co/qTyRh4dRHn
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 7, 2022
Two other individuals were arrested outside the country – one in Austria and the other in Italy. In total, 52 suspects are reportedly under investigation.
Among those detained were a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party who had served in the German Parliament, a member of the German nobility and a Russian citizen accused of supporting the group’s plans. Federal prosecutors said that they were investigating a total of 52 suspects. -NYT
One of the members from an old aristocratic family, Heinrich XIII, is alleged to have been central to their plans.
The group’s plans included an armed attack on the Reichstag parliament building. Members had been conducting organized arms training and attempted to recruit German security services personnel. They are also accused of forming a sort of shadow government which they would install if their plans were successful.
The Times notes that officials have no idea how close the group was to acting on their plans.
According to the report, the group wanted “to overcome the existing state order in Germany and to establish its own form of state, the outlines of which have already been worked out.”
“The members of the organization were aware that this goal can only be achieved through the use of military means and violence against state representatives. This also included commissioning killings.”