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German authorities arrest 25 for plotting to overthrow government

Protesters attend anti-government protests in Leipzig, Germany, on September 5 held by different extremist groups. German authorities arrested far-right supporters for a plot to overthrow the government on Wednesday. File Photo by Hannibal Hanschke/EPA-EFE
Protesters attend anti-government protests in Leipzig, Germany, on September 5 held by different extremist groups. German authorities arrested far-right supporters for a plot to overthrow the government on Wednesday. File Photo by Hannibal Hanschke/EPA-EFE

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- German authorities arrested 25 people in connection with a violent far-right plot to overthrow the country's government.

More than 3,000 police officers took part in raids across 11 German states in making arrests of individuals associated with the Reich Citizen, or Reichsburger, movement whichcenters around conspiracy theories about the legitimacy of the current German government.

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The movement, which included former German military officers, sought to overthrow the government in Berlin and install its own leaders through the "forcible elimination of the democratic constitutional state."

"The members of the organization were aware that this goal can only be achieved through the use of military means and violence against state representatives," German prosecutors said. "This also included commissioning killings."

Authorities said one man suspected of trying to make contact with Russian government representatives was arrested. They said, though, there was no evidence that he ever received a positive response from the Kremlin.

Reich Citizen activists and members had taken part in protests against COVID-19 restrictions when the coronavirus pandemic spurred the same sort of rallying cry for far-right activists around the world to take action against their governments.

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The group believes a shadowy group of international governments called "the Alliance" was involved in "deep state" activities. They believed the United States, Russia and others were involved with the German government in such activities.

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