Treason charges have been brought against five people who allegedly planned to overthrow the German government, the federal prosecutor's office said Monday.
The individuals, all of whom have ties to Germany's far-right Reichsbürger scene, as well as other neo-Nazi gangs, aimed to trigger "civil war-like conditions in Germany by means of violence" in order to topple the government, the prosecutor said. The defendants are also accused of planning to kidnap German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. Lauterbach thanked investigators and Germany's federal criminal police for the arrest. "Criminal federal police officials risk their lives for us. This is a great service," he tweeted.
What was the alleged terror plot?
The suspects are accused of planning to attack power infrastructure to cause a nationwide blackout, and then abduct the health minister; killing his bodyguards if necessary.
The federal prosecutor's office found that the suspects wanted to take over the state and replace it with an "authoritarian system of government based on the model of the German Empire."
Prosecutors said the suspects had made increasingly concrete preparations and created separate military and administrative branches of their group.
According to the prosecutor's statement, the group had accepted that the plans could involve the loss of lives.
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