Extremism: 25 arrests in raid on Reich citizen scene

25 arrests in raid on Reich citizen scene

Officials were on duty in eleven federal states in the morning. photo

© Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

Thousands of police officers have been deployed in almost all federal states to arrest suspects from the Reich citizen scene. According to the federal prosecutor’s office, a group was planning the state coup.

On Wednesday morning, the federal prosecutor’s office had 25 people from the so-called Reich citizen scene arrested in the course of a raid. Around 3,000 officials are deployed in eleven federal states, a spokeswoman for the Karlsruhe authority told the German Press Agency. She accuses the accused of having prepared the overthrow of the state.

22 of those arrested are said to be members of a terrorist organization, two of them ringleaders. Three others are considered supporters. There are also 27 other suspects, said the spokeswoman. “We don’t have a name for this association yet,” she said. It’s probably based on conspiracy theories.

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann described the nationwide raid as an “anti-terrorist operation”. “Democracy is defensive: A major anti-terrorist operation has been taking place since this morning,” wrote the FDP politician on Twitter on Wednesday morning. The Attorney General is investigating a suspected terrorist network from the Reich citizen milieu. “There is a suspicion that an armed attack on constitutional bodies was planned.”

According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, alleged members of the Reich Citizens’ Scene wanted to overthrow the state order in Germany and replace it with their own. The Karlsruhe authorities announced on Wednesday morning that the basics of this form of government had already been worked out. “The members of the association are aware that this project can only be realized through the use of military means and violence against state representatives,” the statement said. “This also includes committing homicides.”

According to the information, people were arrested in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Thuringia and one person each in Austria and Italy. There were also searches in Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. The federal prosecutor’s office wanted to start questioning the first arrested on Wednesday, the spokeswoman said.

Also suspected KSK soldier

The investigations by the federal prosecutor’s office against suspects from the so-called Reich citizen scene are also directed against a soldier from the Bundeswehr’s Special Forces Command (KSK). A spokesman for the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) said on Wednesday the German Press Agency that it was a man from the staff.

According to information from the dpa, his house and office in the Graf Zeppelin barracks in Calw (Baden-Württemberg) were searched. The non-commissioned officer, who is not a commando soldier, had already been noticed in the Bundeswehr as an opponent of vaccination and was later reported from the troops. So far, however, no references to previous extremism incidents in the KSK have been discovered during the investigations.

Reich citizens are people who do not recognize the Federal Republic and its democratic structures. They often refuse to pay taxes. Often they are in conflict with authorities. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution ascribes around 21,000 followers to the scene.

During a raid in 2016, a so-called Reich citizen shot four police officers in Georgensgmünd, Bavaria. One of them succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The special task force wanted to confiscate the hunter’s weapons.


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