Updated Dec 7, 2022, 7:38am EST

Germany arrests 25 accused of far-right plot to overthrow state


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The News

German authorities on Wednesday arrested 25 people accused of plotting to overthrow the government.

Police secures the area after 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right terrorist group were detained during raids across Germany, in Frankfurt, Germany
REUTERS/Tilman Blasshofer
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They had planned to storm the Reichstag — Germany's parliament building — and seize power, according to multiple German reports.

A 71-year-old aristocrat, a judge, an active special forces soldier, and several reservists were among those detained from across 11 German states.

The accused are said to include members of the extremist Reichsburger (Citizens of the Reich) movement, who believe in a variety of conspiracy theories including that of QAnon, according to Die Welt.

The BBC reported that over 3000 police conducted 130 raids across the country, with two people arrested in Italy and Austria.


An estimated 50 people are said to make up the far-right group, however authorities have yet to determine a name for the collective.

The group had allegedly planned to overthrow Germany's government through homicide, "military means" and "violence against state representatives," according to prosecutors.

They had wanted to form a new government that mimicked the Prussian-dominated German empire from 1871, otherwise known as the Second Reich.

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Step Back

Investigators were made aware of the group in April, after a gang called the "United Patriots" was caught attempting to plant bombs on the country's energy infrastructure and kidnap Health Minister Karl Lauterbach.

Germany has “spent decades atoning for its Nazi past but at the same time has a track record of failing to fully address far-right extremism and terrorism,” The New York Times wrote in July, after a German military officer posing as a Syrian refugee was convicted of planning to assassinate senior public figures to overthrow democracy.

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The New York Times' podcast "Day X" delves into the story of how the German soldier who posed as a Syrian refugee attempted to assassinate high-profile politicians and bring down the country's order. It raises questions about how democracies should respond when threats come from within.


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