German police conduct countrywide raids, arrests 25 to avert coup: Report
After reports emerged of a group of far-right and ex-military figures planning to storm the parliament building, the Reichstag, in Germany, the police in the country conducted nationwide raids and arrested 25 people on suspicion of plotting a coup on Wednesday, reported the BBC.
A German man, Heinrich XIII, is alleged to have been central to the plans. He is referred to as a prince in the European nation.
Two alleged “ringleaders” are among those arrested, the report added. However, the federal police said they do not yet know the group’s name.
“We don’t yet have a name for this group,” a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor’s office told BBC.
Federal prosecutors said 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states. Some members of the grouping reject Germany’s post-war constitution and have called for the overthrow of the government.
Prosecutors said 22 German citizens were detained on suspicion of “membership in a terrorist organisation.” Three other people, including a Russian citizen, are suspected of supporting the organisation, they said.
Der Spiegel reported that locations searched include the barracks of Germany’s special forces unit KSK in the southwestern town of Calw.
The coup’s plotters included members from Germany’s extremist Reichsbürger (Citizens of the Reich) movement. It has been in the sights of the police for several violent attacks in the past and has been a part of several conspiracy theories. They do not recognise the modern German state.
Along with detentions in Germany, prosecutors said that one person was detained in the Austrian town of Kitzbuehel and another in the Italian city of Perugia.
BBC added that the plotters were allegedly planning to overthrow the republic and replace it with a new state modelled on the Germany of 1871.
The suspects were aware that their aim could only be achieved by military means and with force, prosecutors said.
The unit has in the past been scrutinised over alleged far-right involvement by some soldiers.
(With agency inputs)
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