Germany – 25 right-wing extremists arrested on suspicion of planning coup d’état in Germany

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Archive – File image of German Police officers – Roland Weihrauch/dpa

Germany’s security forces have arrested 25 members of a far-right group suspected of planning a coup d’état on Wednesday, authorities announced, stressing that the detainees intended to «use military means» against state representatives and subsequently form their own government.

The German Public Prosecutor’s Office has detailed in a statement on its website that the detainees are «suspected members and supporters of a terrorist organization» and has confirmed that operations are underway to arrest a total of 52 people. Thus, it has stated that 22 of the detainees are members of the group and are all German nationals, while among the three «followers» arrested there are two Germans and a Russian.

The arrests have taken place in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Thuringia, while two people have been arrested in Austria and Italy, respectively. In addition, 130 properties in four other German federal states have been raided and searched.

«Those arrested are suspected of being members of a domestic terrorist organization,» he has outlined, before identifying the alleged ringleaders as ‘Prince Henrich XIII’ and ‘Rudiger’. «The defendants belong to a terrorist organization founded at the latest at the end of November 2021 that aimed to overthrow the existing state order in Germany and replace it with its own form of government, which would have been hatched,» he has pointed out.

«The members of the association are aware that this project can only be achieved through military and violent means against state representatives, which includes committing homicides. The defendants are united by a profound rejection of state institutions and the free democratic order in Germany,» said the prosecution, which said they all «follow a conglomeration of conspiratorial myths of the so-called Reichsburger (Reich Citizens) and QAnon ideologies.»

In this sense, it has stated that the detainees «are firmly convinced that Germany is governed by members of a so-called ‘deep state'» and has added that «according to the members of the association, the release (of the same) promises an imminent intervention of the ‘Alliance’, a secret superior society of governments, Intelligence services and armies of various states, including Russia and the United States».

«The association is firmly convinced that members of the ‘Alliance’ are already in Germany and that their attack against the ‘Deep State’ is imminent,» the Prosecutor’s Office has stressed, which has argued that, according to this theory, «the fight against the remaining institutions and representatives of the German state and the safeguarding of power will be taken over by this association and a network of German security companies founded by it.»

«This violent elimination of the democratic constitutional state, also at the level of communities, districts and municipalities, was to be carried out by members of its ‘military arm’. The association is aware that there would be fatalities, although it at least accepts this scenario as a necessary intermediate step to achieve the ‘system change at all levels’ it seeks,» it has explained.

Therefore, he has detailed that this group sought to form a «transitional military government» that «negotiates the new order in Germany with the victorious Allied powers in World War II, in line with the classic narrative of the Reich.» «From the partnership point of view, the main contact for these negotiations is Russia. The accused ‘Prince Heinrich XIII’ has already contacted representatives of Russia and Germany, although, according to investigations, there are no indications that the persons contacted have responded positively to his requests,» he disclosed.

The suspect identified as ‘Prince Heinrich XIII’ «is considered the future head of state within the association, as Thomas T. as his personal advisor.» «Since November 2021, the members of ‘Council’ have been meeting on a regular basis to plan the coup attempt in Germany and the establishment of their own state structures which, similar to a normal government, have Justice, Foreign and Health departments.»

The Prosecutor’s Office has further pointed out that the suspects would have «initiated preparations» including «planning administrative structures, obtaining equipment, setting up weapons training and recruiting new members.» «Attached to the ‘Council’ is the ‘Military Arm’. Some of its members have served actively in the Army. It is up to this part of the association to implement the planned coup by force of arms,» he has pointed out.

«The main focus of the recruitment efforts were members of the Army and Police. To achieve this goal, there were at least four meetings in the summer of 2022 in Baden-Württemberg at which, among others, ‘Rudiger’ promoted the group and its goals,» he has said, while noting that several of them tried to recruit police officers in northern Germany during November. «In October 2022, members of the ‘Military Arm’ inspected army barracks in Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria to see if they were suitable for hosting their troops after the overthrow (of the state),» he said.

Finally, he stressed that «according to investigations to date, there are also suspicions that members of the association made concrete preparations to force their way into the Bundestag with a small armed group.» «The details are being studied. The investigations will serve to determine whether a crime of high treason has been committed in taking steps to overthrow the federal government,» he reiterated in his statement.

According to the information gathered by the German newspaper ‘Die Welt’, among the houses that are being raided and searched is the house of Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a former member of parliament of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) who has been arrested this Tuesday for her alleged involvement in the case.

In addition, the German politician has resigned as a judge at the Berlin Regional Court, a spokesperson confirmed. Malsack-Winkemann was from the AfD in the Bundestag between 2017 and 2021, and since March 2022 she was working as a judge of the court.

However, the formation has condemned the plan to carry out a coup d’état and said it «strongly opposes» it, while calling for a «prompt and full» explanation of what happened.

«Like many citizens, we have learned about this through the media. We condemn and fervently oppose these plans. Now we have to wait for the investigation. We have full confidence in the authorities involved,» said party leaders Tino Chrupalla and Alice Weidel.