Raid on suspected “Reich Citizens” terrorist group of Prince Reuss

Raid on suspected “Reich Citizens” terrorist group of Prince Reuss
The Hessian entrepreneur Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss is said to be the head of the group. (Archive photo)

A large police force searched seven properties and three plots of land in Baden-Württemberg, Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein on Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman for the Karlsruhe authority said. The “Spiegel” newspaper first reported this.

2 accused from Baden-Württemberg

In intercepted telephone conversations, individual suspects repeatedly spoke of large weapons caches that have not yet been discovered. According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the measures on Tuesday are directed against two suspects from Baden-Württemberg. They are accused of supporting a domestic terrorist organization, the spokeswoman said. There was initially no information about any arrests.

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According to dpa information, the living quarters of the two accused in Althengstett and Bad Teinach (both in the Calw district) were searched, as were properties there. The two accused, a 73-year-old man and a 63-year-old woman, are suspected of having made premises in Saxony available to the “Reich Citizens” group around Prince Reuss at the turn of the year 2021/2022 for the purpose of holding recruitment events.

Trial in Frankfurt am Main

Alleged leaders of the group are currently facing charges before the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main. The female accused is also said to have given one of them, Rüdiger v. P., a car in autumn 2021.

The so-called Reich Citizens in Germany claim that the German Reich (1871-1945) still exists. They do not recognize the Federal Republic of Germany, founded in 1949, and its laws.

Dozens of arrests since 2022 raid

The group became publicly known as a result of a large-scale anti-terror raid shortly after St. Nicholas Day 2022 in several federal states and abroad. Dozens of people have since been arrested in connection with this. The accused are said to have intended to overthrow the political system in Germany. They knowingly accepted deaths, the prosecution says. They are said to have already worked out the basic structures for their own state order. Prince Reuss was to have acted as head of state. Departments had also already been allocated: For example, the former Berlin judge and former AfD member of the Bundestag Birgit Malsack-Winkemann was to have been responsible for justice. A former officer of the Bundeswehr’s Special Forces Command (KSK) is also among the accused.

The main defendants are to be held accountable in three trials at the Higher Regional Courts in Frankfurt am Main, Stuttgart and, from June 18, also in Munich. In Frankfurt on Tuesday, an official from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) testified about Reuss’s personal circumstances. The case included details such as Reuss’s shareholdings in companies, his internet presence and clubs, the number of his cars, as well as his finances, accounts and places of residence. The defense repeatedly intervened.

More than 700 officials involved

In Stuttgart, the military part of the suspected terrorist group is the main accused. According to the indictment, this group was supposed to use armed force to implement the planned takeover. To this end, the establishment of a Germany-wide system of 286 militarily organized units, so-called homeland defense companies, has already begun. The “Homeland Defense Company No. 221” is said to have been responsible for the Freudenstadt and Tübingen areas. The Calw district is also located in the region.

More than 700 officers from the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Police and the state police of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein were involved in the searches on Tuesday.

According to the spokeswoman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, this also includes special units from the federal government and the state of Baden-Württemberg. The measures in Baden-Württemberg are being supported by forces from the state’s bomb disposal service and in Saxony by forces from the Federal Agency for Technical Relief. Heavy equipment is also being used, it was said.

The Dresden Public Prosecutor’s Office carried out two raids against the Reich Citizens’ scene in the Erzgebirge district. According to reports, the searches took place in Seiffen and Pockau-Lengefeld. The background to the raids was the proceedings against Heinrich XIII, Prince Reuss. Further details were not initially known.

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