Germany Arrests 25 Accused of Plotting Coup

On Wednesday, German police arrested 25 people for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. The detained include former Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) member of the Bundestag — the country's parliament — Birgit Malsack-Winkemann and members of the Reichsbürger movement.

Germany Arrests 25 Accused of Plotting Coup
Image credit: DPA/PA [via BBC News]

Facts

  • On Wednesday, German police arrested 25 people for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. The detained include former Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) member of the Bundestag — the country's parliament — Birgit Malsack-Winkemann and members of the Reichsbürger movement.
  • Terming the raids across 11 of Germany's 16 states against the so-called Reich Citizens movement an "anti-terrorism operation," Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said that the suspects may have planned an armed attack on state institutions.
  • Prosecutors said that 22 German nationals were detained on suspicion of "membership in a terrorist organization," while the three others, including a Russian citizen, were arrested for allegedly supporting its activities.
  • While the Russian national, identified as Vitalia B., allegedly helped the organization to establish contacts with Russia, German investigators found no evidence that Moscow reacted positively to their request.
  • According to German Attorney General Peter Frank, the group had formed around 71-year-old minor aristocrat Heinrich XIII P. R. at the end of November 2021 to install him as the new leader of Germany and overthrow a so-called "deep state" through military means and violence.
  • An investigation into plans to kidnap Health Minister Karl Lauterbach by another group related to the Reichsbürger movement — which rejects the legality of the Federal Republic of Germany — triggered this operation that reportedly covered 130 properties belonging to 52 suspects.

Sources: BBC News, France24, Al Jazeera, and DW.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by RT. It's absurd to believe that the detained, most of them in their 60s or even 70s, would be able to storm the parliament and overthrow the government. This operation was carried out with the sole purpose of creating a furor in the media to divert the German people's attention from the incompetence of the Scholz administration and the nation's catastrophic economic problems, including its energy crisis.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by BBC News. The Reichsbürger movement used to be mocked, but security forces have been increasingly concerned about the group's radicalization as conspiracy theories have permeated German society since the outbreak of the pandemic. As this far-right scene was responsible for over 1K extremist criminal acts last year and death threats to politicians, this operation was necessary to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control.

Predictions