German police announced Thursday that they searched 20 residences of suspects linked to the far-right Reichsbürger motion. The motion has been accused of trying to destabilize the Federal Republic of Germany and its state establishments.
This newest sequence of raids happened in eight of Germany’s 16 states and was initiated in 2021 after police detected suspicious exercise on the Telegram messaging service. The group makes use of Telegram channels to disseminate their conspiracy theories. Just lately, police stated the operators of those channels had try[ed] to dam their communication channels by making focused (mass) contact with authorities and thus unlawfully influencing their choices. A number of suspected members of the group have been recognized and laptops, computer systems, telephones and exterior information carriers have been seized, however no arrests have been made.
The Reichsbürger motion, which means “Reich Residents,” emerged within the Nineteen Eighties and is an umbrella time period for a number of completely different teams working inside Germany who believe that the 1871 borders of the German Empire nonetheless apply as we speak. They don’t acknowledge the present authorities or another German authorities for the reason that Nazi regime. Whereas they had been as soon as thought-about to be a fringe group, the motion has grown in recent times and have change into more and more violent, espousing racist and antisemitic Nazi ideologies.
Again in 2017, a 50-year-old man, who was allegedly a member of the motion, was sentenced to life in jail for the homicide of a police officer. Police have beforehand carried out raids and issued arrest warrants in December 2022 for 25 people accused of trying to overthrow the German authorities. A person was additionally arrested in November 2021 and later charged with “the formation of a prison group, incitement to hatred and coercion.”
In Might, Germany’s Federal Workplace for the Safety of the Structure—or the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV)—warned in opposition to rising ranges of anti-government extremism within the midst of provocation from authoritarian states, corresponding to Russia.