Head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution on Reich Citizens: “They Want to Overcome this State”

Status: 07.12.2022 21:36

According to the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Haldenwang, citizens of the Reich are a threat to the basic democratic order. The plans of the now raised group for a coup were already well advanced, he said in the daily topics.

The President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, has warned that “Reich citizens” pose a threat to the state and democracy. “We now have more than 21,000 people who we assign to this scene. Ten percent are definitely violent,” said Haldenwang in the daily topics-Interview. Since many also had legal and illegal weapons, “our aim is to successively disarm these groups.”

In the meantime, a “strange mixture” has emerged: “The dividing lines are no longer so sharp: we see Reich citizens who act together with people from right-wing extremism, but also from the conspiracy theorist scene. Many QAnon people feel addressed by the Reich citizen ideology .” This is how different groups come together, but they have one goal: “They want this state, they want to overcome our free and democratic basic order,” said Haldenwang.

“Meanwhile more than 21,000 people who we assign to this scene”, Thomas Haldenwang, President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, on the raids against the “Reichsbürger” scene

daily topics 10:30 p.m., 7.12.2022

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution has been on the group for a long time

The group that has now been taken down had been in the sights for months, initially only by the federal and state offices for the protection of the constitution. “When it became increasingly clear that there were concrete plans for a violent overthrow using armed force, it was time to get the police, the public prosecutor’s office and the federal public prosecutor involved,” said Haldenwang.

Attorney General Peter Frank, who is leading the investigation into the group, spoke in the ARD focal point from a “military arm” that the group had. Its goal was to build a “new German army” – they are said to have tried to recruit more members of the police and armed forces to form so-called “homeland security companies”. “It’s a particular danger that ultimately makes this union what it is,” said Frank. This is also why the authorities came to the conclusion that the preparations for a terrorist organization were progressing here.

Haldenwang assumes that the raids must have been a clear signal to the “Reichsbürger” milieu. The security authorities are very vigilant and know what is happening in the scene: “And I can only recommend everyone to distance themselves from this scene of Reich citizens and conspiracy theorists.”

Proximity of the AfD to “Reich citizens”

Among those arrested is the judge and AfD politician Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, who had sat in parliament for the party until the last federal election. Haldenwang is not surprised, because the “right-wing parties” show a closeness to the “Reichsbürger” scene – this also applies to the AfD. This has also recently been observed at demonstrations where “Reich citizens” and AfD members marched together. “This closeness is definitely there and shouldn’t come as a surprise,” said Haldenwang.

Right-wing extremists in security agencies “more than isolated cases”

Also among the accused are a police officer and active and former Bundeswehr soldiers – and they are not the only cases of right-wing extremists in security agencies. “You can say so much: There are more than isolated cases,” said Haldenwang. However, he emphasized that the majority of employees in security agencies are based on the Basic Law.

Haldenwang advocated having applicants for the police and other security agencies checked by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In addition, there is a need for internal training for supervisors on how to deal with extreme right-wing employees and reporting requirements. In general, however, the security authorities are now taking the issue “much more seriously”, according to Haldenwang.

Focus: Raid against Reich citizens

Hot Spot , 12/7/2022

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