Mon | Feb 6, 2023

Germany: 25 arrested on suspicion of planning armed coup

Published:Wednesday | December 7, 2022 | 8:41 AM
An suspect, second right, is escorted from a police helicopter by police officers after the arrival in Karlsruhe, Germany, Wednesday, December 7, 2022. Thousands of police officers carried out raids across much of Germany on Wednesday against suspected far-right extremists who allegedly sought to overthrow the government in an armed coup. Officials said 25 people were detained. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

BERLIN (AP) — Thousands of police officers carried out raids across much of Germany on Wednesday against suspected far-right extremists who allegedly sought to overthrow the government in an armed coup.

Officials said 25 people were detained.

Federal prosecutors said some 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany's 16 states. While police raids against the far right are not uncommon in the country, still sensitive to its grim Nazi past, the scale of the operation was unusual.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann described the raids as an “anti-terrorism operation,” adding that the suspects may have planned an armed attack on institutions of the state.

Germany's top security official said the group was “driven by violent coup fantasies and conspiracy ideologies.”

Prosecutors said the suspects were linked to the so-called Reich Citizens movement, whose adherents reject Germany's postwar constitution and have called for bringing down the government.

Officers detained 22 German citizens on suspicion of “membership in a terrorist organisation,” prosecutors said. Three other people, including a Russian citizen, were held on suspicion of supporting the organisation, they said. Another 27 people were under investigation.

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