German police arrest four over plot to kidnap Health Minister

German police arrest four over plot to kidnap Health Minister

German police have arrested four German nationals suspected of plotting to kidnap German health minister Karl Lauterbach and destroy power facilities to cause a nationwide power outage.

A spokesman for the Koblenz prosecutor s office said on Thursday that the two main suspects have agreed with others to attack the federal health minister, confirming a report by German broadcaster ARD.

The suspects who were detained this week were associated with groups that protested against Covid 19 restrictions, and the far-right Reichsb rger movement, which denies the existence of the modern German state, the prosecutor s office said in a statement.

The plot to kidnap Lauterbach has been the subject of a series of incidents that have highlighted the anger of some Germans over restrictions on people not vaccinated against the coronaviruses and proposals to make vaccination compulsory for the general public.

In December of this year, the police foiled a plot by anti-vaccination activists to murder the state premier of Saxony in eastern Germany.

The suspects behind the plot communicated in a chat group named Vereinte Patrioten, German for United Patriots, intended to cause civil war-like conditions and ultimately overthrow the democratic system in Germany, the prosecutor s office said.

Authorities searched 20 properties in several German states on Wednesday and confiscated weapons including guns, ammunition, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, cash in euros and foreign currency, as well as gold bars and silver coins.

The office found forged vaccination certificates and Covid tests.

The arrest warrants for the four detained suspects have been issued by the office. A fifth suspect is at large.