Members of far-right German group arrested for plot to overthrow state

One active soldier and several reservists are among those being investigated, a spokesperson for the military intelligence service (BAMAD) told Reuters.

 Police secures the area after 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right group were detained during raids across Germany, in Berlin, Germany December 7, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/CHRISTIAN MANG)
Police secures the area after 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right group were detained during raids across Germany, in Berlin, Germany December 7, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/CHRISTIAN MANG)

Twenty-five alleged members and supporters of a far-right terrorist group suspected of aiming to overthrow the German state were detained early on Wednesday during raids across Germany, the federal prosecutor's office said.

One active soldier and several reservists are among those being investigated, a spokesperson for the military intelligence service (BAMAD) told Reuters. The active soldier is a member of the Special Forces Command, it said.

The suspects are accused of preparing, since the end of November 2021 at the latest, to carry out actions based on their ideology, according to the office. These actions include procuring equipment, recruiting new members and holding shooting lessons, it added.

Statement from German Interior Minister 

Investigations into a far-right plot to overthrow the German state show the threat posed by the "Reichsbuerger" movement, which denies the existence of the modern German state, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said on Wednesday.

"The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from the Reichsbuerger milieu," Faeser said in a statement, adding "we are taking action against such endeavours with all the consequences of the rule of law."

"We will continue to take this hard line."

Recruiting military and police

The focus of the recruitment efforts was primarily members of the military and police officers, the office said.

Police secure the area after 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right group were detained during raids across Germany, in Berlin, Germany December 7, 2022.  (credit: CHRISTIAN MANG / REUTERS)Police secure the area after 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right group were detained during raids across Germany, in Berlin, Germany December 7, 2022. (credit: CHRISTIAN MANG / REUTERS)

The raids were conducted by more than 3,000 police officials and security forces across 11 German federal states, the prosecutors said in the statement.

Suspects were arrested in the German states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Thuringia as well as in Austria and Italy, said the office.

The BAMAD said it had worked with the prosecutors on their investigation and shared information with the domestic intelligence service and federal criminal investigators in the run-up to Wednesday's raids.

One suspect used to be in charge of security for Jewish communities

One of the suspects arrested, identified as Michael F., was a policeman responsible for security assessments for Jewish communities in Lower Saxony in 2020, according to German reporter Frederik Schindler. The suspect was dismissed from the police force this year.