German police thwart coup attempt

Published December 7th, 2022 - 08:30 GMT

ALBAWABA - German police arrested a group of far-right and military officers seeking to overthrow the government.

The BBC said on Wednesday that 25 people were arrested in raids across the country, foiling the attempted coup. It quoted German reports as saying that the plotters, a group of far-right and ex-military figures, planned to storm the parliament building, the Reichstag, and seize power.

NBC News reported that more than 3,000 police officers, including special forces, made 130 early morning searches across 11 of Germany's 16 federal states in one of the biggest counterterrorism operations in the country's history.

A nobleman described as Prince Heinrich XIII, 71, is alleged to have been central to the group's alleged plans, according to the BBC. It said federal prosecutors revealed that he is one of two alleged ringleaders among those arrested.

The plotters are said to include members of the extremist Reichsbürger, German for Citizens of the Reich movement, which has long been in the sights of German police over violent attacks and racist conspiracy theories. They also refuse to recognize the modern German state.

"An estimated 50 men and women are alleged to have been part of the group, said to have plotted to overthrow the republic and replace it with a new state modelled on the Germany of 1871, an empire called the Second Reich," according to the BBC report.

"We don't yet have a name for this group," a spokesperson for the federal prosecutor's office reportedly told BBC.

Some 3,000 officers took part in 130 raids across much of the country, with two people arrested in Austria and Italy.

Those arrested will appear in court Wednesday and Thursday, according to NBC News. It said the homes of another 27 people suspected of being members or supporters of the group have been searched.

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