The raids were carried out at 130 sites in eleven states, targeting far-right extremists who allegedly wanted to overthrow the state order in Germany and replace it with its own.
On Wednesday morning, around 3,000 police officers carried out a series of raids across Germany, arresting 25 people who are adherents of the Reich Citizens (Reichsbuerger), a far-right movement which reject the legitimacy of the modern German state.
The raids were carried out at 130 sites in eleven federal states, targeting suspected extremists who allegedly wanted to overthrow the state order in Germany and replace it with its own. Twenty-two of them are said to be members of the terrorist organization, and three others are considered supporters.
Among the detainees is Heinrich XIII, Prince of Reuss, the Britisht Daily Mail reported, adding that this 71-year-old aristocrat is "said to be hell bent on tearing down the German government to bring back the glory days of old."
Members of the Reich Citizens movement amass illegal weapons and often refuse to pay taxes. Some are convinced that Germany is run by members of the so-called "deep state" -- a conspiracy theory -- that needs to be toppled. Germany's domestic intelligence agency estimates that the movement has around 21,000 adherents.
"Our rule of law is strong. We know how to defend ourselves harshly against the enemies of democracy", Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said and thanked the police officers who participated in the operations throughout the country.
"The alleged terrorist organization exposed today is driven by violent overthrow fantasies and conspiratorial ideologies," she pointed out, adding that the investigations will provide a clear picture of the extent to which such coup d'état plans had come to fruition.
"The militant Reichsbürger are united by hatred of democracy, our state, and the people who defend our community. That is why we act with all the consistency of the rule of law against such aspirations," Faeser concluded.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, the detainees belong to a terrorist organization founded in Nov. 2021 whose objective is "to end the state order established in Germany and replace it with its own form of State." This organization is run by a "council" and has a "military arm."
The arrests took place in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Thuringia. Also militants of this far-right organization were arrested in Kitzbühel (Austria) and in Perugia (Italy).