German police arrest 25 linked to far-right coup plot

German police arrest 25 linked to far-right coup plot
Photo: Christian Wiediger - Unsplash – German police have arrested 25 members and supporters of a far-right group who had been planning to storm the national parliament with weapons and aimed to take down the political system of the country. 

More than three thousand agents took part in raids of more than 130 houses on Wednesday morning, with Zeit Online saying that they were looking for a total of 52 suspects. If so, this would make it the largest counter-terrorism operation in Germany in recent years, with reports saying that preparations for the action first started in April. 

With the exception of one Russian, all of the suspects are German, and among them are a soldier and several reservists. On top of the 25 who were successfully arrested, German security services are continuing to search for the remaining 27. 

The group that were the target of the police operation are known as the Reichsburger, a far-right organisation that does not recognise the legitimacy of the Federal Republic of Germany and therefore believes that German laws do not apply to them. One common feature has been for members to refuse to pay taxes. 

Chief prosecutor Peter Frank told the media that the movement is “extremely dangerous” and had made plans to overthrow the government via violent means. It is estimated that overall the Reichsburger movement has about 21,000 adherents, many of whom are neo-Nazis, conspiracy theorists and gun enthusiasts. One of those arrested was a 71-year-old man who calls himself Prince Heinrich XIII Reuss and is seen as a central figure in the group. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check out the EuroNews247 website for all your up-to-date European news stories.