Most individuals identified by authorities were supporters of the far-right Reichsburger movement who were reportedly planning to install a new government to be led by a prince.

German special police forces detain Heinrich XIII Prinz Reuss after searching a house in Frankfurt on Wednesday as part of a nationwide raid against several coup suspects. (AFP)
German special police forces detain Heinrich XIII Prinz Reuss after searching a house in Frankfurt on Wednesday as part of a nationwide raid against several coup suspects. (AFP) (AFP)

A group of far-right figures and ex-military officers were planning attacks in Germany to ignite a nationwide chaos that would give them the opportunity to seize power from the government, according to prosecutors.

German officials made the revelation on Wednesday following the arrest of 25 people, who prosecutor's said were preparing a violent overthrow of the state to install as national leader a prince who had sought support from Russia.

The arrests were made after authorities carried out raids in 11 federal states, including Thuringia, Hesse and Lower Saxony.

As many as 3,000 security officers were involved in the raids, conducting searches at houses and offices of more than 50 suspects to gather evidence, including documents and electronic devices.

Prosecutors said the group was inspired by the deep state conspiracy theories of Germany's Reichsbuerger (Citizens of the Reich) and QAnon, whose advocates were among those arrested after the storming of the US Capitol in January 2021.

Heinrich XIII Prinz Reuss, a descendant of a noble family, was identified as the possible leader of a future state. He was reportedly planning a takeover with the help of former German military officer Rudiger von P, to achieve a "system change" in the country, in which Rudiger would also serve as the military commander.

The majority of the suspects were supporters of the far-right Reichsburger movement, and they formed an armed group last year to overthrow the current constitutional system in Germany, according to prosecutors.
The majority of the suspects were supporters of the far-right Reichsburger movement, and they formed an armed group last year to overthrow the current constitutional system in Germany, according to prosecutors. (AP Archive)

As early as last year, the suspects had already started making their plans to overthrow the current constitutional system in Germany,  prosecutors said.

The group held regular meetings and discussed their plans, and even nominated ministers for a post-coup government.

Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a former lawmaker of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), was among those who were identified as a suspect, and he was to be the justice minister, authorities said.

The group's members reject the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany and its legal system for various motives and on different grounds.

Many refuse to pay taxes and they are often in conflict with authorities. 

Some of them are also reportedly devoted to the German empire under a monarchy, while some are adherents of Nazi ideas and others believe Germany is under military occupation.

The leader of the group, Heinrich, who uses the title prince reportedly comes from the royal House of Reuss, which had ruled over parts of eastern Germany.

Heinrich had reportedly reached out to representatives of Russia, whom the group saw as its central contact for establishing its new order. It said there was no evidence the Russian representatives had reacted positively to the request.

Neither the House of Reuss nor Prince Reuss' Office responded to requests for comment.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency estimates that the group has around 21,000 followers.

Following the arrest, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the German government will respond with the full force of the law.

"The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from the Reichsbuerger milieu," Faeser said in a statement, adding that the constitutional state knew how to defend itself against "the enemies of democracy".

READ MORE: Germany: Hundreds of far-right extremists working in security services

Source: AA