German police raid 130 sites on far-right suspects

German police raid 130 sites on far-right suspects

Thousands of police carried out a series of raids across much of Germany on Wednesday against suspected far-right extremists who tried to overthrow the state by force.

Federal prosecutors said 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany's 16 states against the adherents of the so-called Reich Citizens movement. Some of the grouping oppose Germany's post-war constitution and have called for the overthrow of the government.

Prosecutors said 22 German citizens were arrested on suspicion of membership in a terrorist organisation. Three other people, including a Russian citizen, are suspected of supporting the organisation.

In the south-western town of Calw, the locations searched included the barracks of Germany's special forces unit KSK. The unit has been criticized for its involvement over the past due to the alleged far-right involvement of some soldiers. Federal prosecutors did not confirm or deny that the barracks were searched.

One person was arrested in the Austrian town of Kitzb hel and another in the Italian city of Perugia, along with detentions in Germany.

The suspected ringleaders, identified as Heinrich XIII PR and R diger v P, were accused of founding a terrorist organisation with the goal of overturning the existing state order in Germany and replacing it with their own form of state, which was already in the course of being founded, according to the Prosecutors. The suspects were aware that their aim could only be achieved by military means and with force, prosecutors said.

According to a statement by the prosecutors, they are said to have believed in a conglomerate of conspiracy theories consisting of narratives from the so-called Reich Citizens as well as QAnon ideology.