Germany has arrested 25 members and supporters of a far-right group that was allegedly plotting to overthrow the government to install as national leader a prince who had sought backing from Russia. The far-right group was inspired by the deep state conspiracy theories of Reichsbuerger and QAnon and is said to have prepared to storm the Parliament building and seize power.

Heinrich XIII, a member of a German royal family, was the alleged mastermind behind the coup.

According to the German Police, the plot envisaged Heinrich XIII as the leader of the future state with Ruediger, another suspect, as the head of the military arm, with the aim of building a new German army.

The group had emulated the structure of the government, creating a “council” that had regularly met since November 2021 as an administration-in-waiting with different departments, such as foreign affairs and health, Reuters reported.

It was also revealed that Heinrich, who uses the title of prince, had reached out to representatives of Russia, whom the group saw as its central contact for establishing its new order. German security agencies are now looking closely at any possible contact with Russia.

Russia has brushed aside the alleged far-right plot in Germany as an “internal problem” and denied any Russian involvement.

‘Enemies of democracy’

German minister Nancy Faeser has called the suspects “enemies of democracy” and said the government will respond with “full force of law”.

“The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from the Reichsbuerger milieu,” Faeser said in a statement, Reuters reported.

The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said the “Reichsbuerger movement” had grown considerably in the last year and presented a persistently high level of danger.

Members of the Reichsbuerger (Citizens of the Reich) do not recognize modern-day Germany as a legitimate state. Some of them are devoted to the German empire under monarchy, while some are adherents of Nazi ideas and others believe Germany is under military occupation.

The group had been procuring equipment, trying to recruit new members and holding shooting lessons. The focus of the recruitment efforts was primarily members of the military and police officers.

Meanwhile, the royal family, the House of Reuss, had earlier distanced itself from Heinrich, calling him a “confused man” who pursued conspiracy theories, according to German media.

Germany’s monarchy was abolished a century ago. When the Weimar Constitution was adopted, the legal privileges and titles of German nobility were removed. Officially, there are no princes and princesses in Germany.

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