Eureka News Now —
German officials across the country on Wednesday arrested 22 suspected members and three suspected supporters of a far-right terrorist organization on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government.
According to German prosecutors and local media reports, alleged members of the conspiracy include a descendant of the German royal family and a former far-right member of parliament.
An estimated 50 people were suspected of having been part of the “Reich Citizens’ Movement” group, which was founded no later than November 2021 and planned to overthrow the government and replace it, the federal prosecutor’s office said on its own order.
“The accused are united by a deep rejection of state institutions and the free-democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany, which over time led to their decision to take part in their violent elimination and to take specific preparatory measures for this,” the statement said Explanation.
“The members of the group follow a conglomerate of conspiracy myths consisting of narratives of so-called Reichsbürger as well as QAnon ideology,” the statement said, adding that the organization’s alleged members were German nationals, while two of the suspects Supporters were German and one was Russian.
In the statement, the German prosecutors named Heinrich XIII. PR, who was born by the Eureka News Now subsidiary NTV as 71-year-old Henry XIII. Prince Reuss has been identified as one of the ringleaders of the alleged group. The prince is a descendant of the House of Reuss, the former rulers of parts of eastern Germany, and now works as a real estate entrepreneur, according to NTV.
Heinrich was arrested in Frankfurt on Wednesday, according to video distributed by Reuters, which showed him being escorted by police officers from a building to a waiting van while other officers stood guard outside the compound.
Prosecutors allege that Heinrich sought the involvement of Russian representatives in the alleged plan. “The accused Henry XIII. PR has already contacted representatives of the Russian Federation in Germany,” the prosecutor’s statement said.
Eureka News Now tried to get Henry XIII. to reach, but it is not clear if he has a legal representative.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied Russian involvement in the coup and said it was an internal problem in Germany. “This is rather an internal problem of the FRG (Germany) and they themselves state that there can be no talk of Russian intervention,” Peskov said in a daily conversation with journalists.
Peskov did not recognize the Russian suspect.
The prosecution’s statement identified another suspect as Birgit MW, and ARD Tagesschau reports that the full name of the person is Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, who represented the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) as a member of the Bundestag from 2017 to 2021 According to ARD-Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, she worked as a judge at the Berlin Regional Court at the beginning of this year.
The federal prosecutor does not want to confirm the reporting of the ARD. Eureka News Now has reached out to Malsack-Winkemann for comment.
Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said Wednesday that “democracy is defensible,” adding that a “major anti-terrorist operation” was underway.
“The Federal Prosecutor’s Office is investigating a suspected terrorist network from the Reich bourgeois milieu,” said Buschmann on Twitter.
“There is a suspicion that an armed attack on constitutional bodies was planned.”
The raids would continue and are aimed at another 27 suspects, the federal prosecutor said.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser thanked the 3,000 police officers involved in the raids and said the Reich Citizens’ Movement was “united by their hatred of democracy”.
In recent years, Germany has struggled to get right-wing extremism under control. In June 2020, an elite German military unit known as the KSK was partially disbanded after it was found to have an accumulation of right-wing extremists. According to the Agence France-Presse news agency, the KSK begins operations such as anti-terrorist campaigns and hostage-taking.
At the beginning of the year, in February 2020, nine people died in a mass shooting in two shisha bars in the city of Hanau near Frankfurt. Then-Chancellor Angela Merkel said the shooter acted out of “far-right, racist motives.” The incident was the third fatal attack attributed to right-wing suspects in the country in a year.
Experts linked Germany’s increasingly violent right-wing attacks to the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which in 2017 became the first far-right party to win seats in Germany’s Bundestag in almost 60 years.
In March 2021, the AfD was officially placed under surveillance by the German domestic intelligence agency BfV on suspicion of undermining the country’s democratic constitution.