In an operation that involved roughly 3,000 German police and Special Forces officers, more than two-dozen people were arrested in Germany Wednesday for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government as part of the Reichsbürger (Citizens of the Reich) movement, which is a domestic terrorist organization that was formed in late 2021. The organization intended to overthrow the German government and form its own state. Prosecutors have said that the organization believes that “Germany is currently ruled by members of a so-called deep state” which needed to be overthrown.
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In addition to those arrested in Germany, two others were arrested, one in Austria and another in Italy. Overall, 52 people are being investigated. Some of those involved in the plot include a member of the Alternative for Germany party who was a former member of the German Parliament, a member of the German nobility, and a Russian citizen who supported the organization’s plans. A member named Heinrich XIII, who is from an old aristocratic family, was allegedly a central figure in the group.
Included in the organization’s plans was an armed attack on the German parliament building. Members had also created an alternative government that was to be installed if their attack was successful. The group had also organized arms training for members and had attempted to recruit personnel from the German security services. German officials do not know how close the organization was to putting their plans into motion.
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,” a report issued by authorities stated. It went on to say, “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.”