Police foil ‘plot’ to kidnap minister — Analysis
A plot to destroy power plants and kidnap the Health Minister led to four German nationals being arrested.
German police have arrested four German nationals on suspicion of plotting to kidnap public figures, including Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, as well as planning to carry out a series of attacks on power facilities with the intent to cause a nationwide power outage.
“The two main suspects are believed to have agreed with others to mount an attack on the federal health minister,” said a spokesperson for the Koblenz prosecutor’s office on Thursday.
According to the police, the group, which called themselves Vereinte Patrioten – German for United Patriots – were detained on Wednesday and found to be affiliated with anti-Covid-19 groups as well as with the far-right “Reichsburger” movement, which denies the legitimacy of the modern German state.
The state prosecutors allege that the group committed the kidnapping and attacks on German power stations, as well as the kidnapping public figures. “intended to cause civil war-like conditions” which would enable the toppling of Germany’s elected government and its democratic system.
Police say that they raided 20 homes and discovered a variety of weapons, such as a Kalashinkov rifle and ammunition. Cash, gold and silver ingots were also confiscated. Police also confiscated mobile phones, data drives, computers and written documents pertaining to the group’s plans. Police also found fake coronavirus vaccine and test certificates.
Karl Lauterbach, Health Minister, responded to arrests saying that they showed the radicalization people were protesting coronavirus restrictions. He also said it extended beyond Covid-19.
“There are forces that intend to destabilize the state and democracy. They’re using Covid protests. This is a small minority in our society but they are highly dangerous,”Lauterbach.
This arrest occurs as anti-Covid sentiment has been rising in Germany over both restrictions on non-vaccinated persons and a proposal by the government to make vaccines mandatory for all.
Nearly 800 officers were involved in a series raids conducted by German police last week against far-right extremists groups. Authorities searched several dozen homes of suspected right-wing extremists who belonged to neo Nazi groups.
Authorities arrested four “key figures” believed to be the leaders of a group called Knockout 51. The federal prosecutor’s office claims they were involved in protests against Covid-19 measures in cities such as Leipzig and Kassel that resulted in violent clashes with police and counter-protesters.
One of the arrested suspects was also said to be connected to the Atomwaffen Division – a neo-Nazi terrorist organization with ties to the US, which has been linked to at least five murders.
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