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Germany arrests 25 suspected far-right members planning to overthrow government

Police officers work during a raid in Berlin, Germany, on December 07, 2022. Twenty-five suspects were arrested after coordinated raids in 11 federal states, including Thuringia, [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş - Anadolu Agency]
Police officers work during a raid in Berlin, Germany, on December 07, 2022. Twenty-five suspects were arrested after coordinated raids in 11 federal states, including Thuringia, [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş - Anadolu Agency]

Germany has arrested 25 suspected far-right members of a group planning to overthrow the government, using arms to storm the lower house of Parliament.

Some 3,000 officers raided 130 sites across the country and arrested 22 members of the Reich Citizens on suspicion of membership in a terror organisation.

The group is said to want a new state modelled on Germany as it was in 1871, using military means and violence against state representatives.

One of the sites raided is the barracks of the KSK, Germany's Special Forces unit, reported Der Spiegel.

Reuters reported that one active soldier and member of the KSK elite force and several reservists were among the people currently under investigation.

Also arrested is Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, member of the far-right, populist Alternative for Germany.

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An aristocrat, known as Prince Heinrich XIII and one of the two ringleaders of the plot, has also been arrested.

Heinrich planned to be leader of this new state, whilst the second ringleader of the plot, Rudiger von P, planned to be head of its military arm.

There has been a dramatic rise in right-wing crime in Germany, which the country's Interior Ministry said last year poses the biggest threat to the country's stability.

In October 2021, German police stopped armed members of the extremist right-wing group, Third Way, blocking migrants crossing the Polish border.

Eleven people died, including nine from immigrant communities, in February 2020 after a German citizen entered two shisha bars in Hanau and opened fire on customers.

Angela Merkel's decision in 2015 to open the country to refugees has divided opinion, with the decision to allow in roughly one million people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan sparking a surge in anti-immigrant sentiment and support for the far-right.

Germany has welcomed over a million refugees from Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

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