Reich citizen raid: why the media already knew about it


Status: 10.12.2022 09:11 a.m

On the morning of the nationwide raid against Reich citizens, many media were already informed and had prepared their reports – too How can that be?

By Michael Götschenberg, ARD terrorism expert

No question, many media were well aware of what was going to happen on the morning of December 7th: who was being arrested and, in some cases, where. Detailed reports were prepared, some of the cameras were set up to have pictures of the arrests. And that in a crackdown on a group accused of plotting a coup.

It is quite understandable that this raises the question of why journalists were so well prepared, what information was known in advance and whether this might have enabled suspects to be warned in advance. There is even speculation on social media as to whether it was all a big staging, possibly to distract from other topics.

It is the task of journalists who work investigatively on internal security issues to be informed about the security situation. How do you do that? On the one hand, you follow what extremists are doing as far as possible, for example at rallies, but also on social media or in relevant telegram channels.

Some of the key players in this group were “old friends” for journalists, such as radicalized lateral thinkers with and without a Bundeswehr background, as well as individual Reich citizens. For this reason, several members of the group have already been reported on in a different context in recent months.

Discussions with security authorities: everyday research

In addition, regular discussions with security authorities are part of everyday research. So-called background talks, in which you can ask questions and sometimes get more or less detailed information – depending on what the respective conversation partner thinks appropriate.

Do they also pursue their own interests? Naturally. But a journalist is also aware of that, and you have to factor that into your own further research. By checking what is told to you with your own resources. That is the essence of journalistic work.

At the same time, the security authorities even have an interest in the investigations not being disrupted by journalistic research. In this case, that would have been conceivable, precisely because, as shown, some of the accused have been in the media focus for some time anyway due to public appearances and radical statements.

In this specific case, many security authorities at federal and state level were involved in the investigation. This is because the members of the group were at home in numerous federal states. For this reason, the number of journalists who were aware of the investigation was also unusually high in this case. Those journalists who receive explosive information from ongoing investigations must deal with it professionally.

All arrest warrants executed

On the morning of the raid against the group around Henry XIII. Prince Reuss was concerned with not jeopardizing the deployment of the police forces by reporting the planned arrests too early. It is not possible to say with certainty at this point in time whether the persons who were under investigation heard about this through journalistic research and were therefore warned. But the fact is that all the accused were found and all arrest warrants were executed.

Only when the suspects have been found are the emergency services of such a raid no longer in acute danger. That explains why the media informed about the events almost at the same time that morning. This has nothing to do with a staging.

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