Another alleged coup plot foiled in Germany

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German security services have charged five people with treason in connection with an alleged plot to overthrow the government. The group, whose members are now all in custody, allegedly planned to instigate a “civil war” and kidnap a government minister.

Early in December, German authorities claimed to have foiled a separate coup attempt by right-wing extremists.

The German Federal Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement on Monday, stating that charges were filed on January 16 against five people identified as Sven B., Michael H., Thomas K., Thomas O., and Elisabeth R. They are suspected of “founding or participating in a domestic terrorist organization.”

The suspects were also charged with planning a “act of high treason” against the German federal government.

According to authorities, the group was formed no later than mid-January of last year with the goal of inciting “civil war-like conditions” in the country. The suspects’ ostensible goal was to destabilize the German government and “parliamentary democracy.”

All of the members are thought to be members of the Reichsbuerger, or ‘Citizens of the Reich,’ movement, which claims that Germany’s constitution and government have no legal basis. Proponents of the conspiracy theory maintain that the 1871 constitution is the only one that is valid.

The suspects had planned to establish a “authoritarian government system” to replace the current one, according to the federal prosecutor’s office.

According to reports, the group was divided into two branches: military and administrative. According to the authorities’ alleged plans, the plotters would have targeted Germany’s power grid in the hope of causing a blackout.

Furthermore, the suspects had presumably planned to kidnap Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who was in charge of the government’s unpopular Covid-19 measures and vaccination efforts.

Officials believe the suspects attempted to recruit supporters on Telegram while also attempting to obtain several tons of explosives from the former Yugoslavia.

Authorities said one of the ring members was apprehended after he “ordered and received” two AK47 assault rifles, four Glock pistols, and ammunition. The arrest occurred in April 2022, and three other suspects were apprehended around the same time. In October, the last alleged member was apprehended. Since then, they have all been held in pre-trial detention.

Lauterbach, the Health Minister who the plotters apparently intended to kidnap, thanked the security services in a tweet.