German police search for far-right anti-vaxxer extremist suspected in violent anti-government plot

German police search for far-right anti-vaxxer extremist suspected in violent anti-government plot

The United States isn’t the only country where far-right anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers and coronavirus deniers have resorted to violence. In Germany, according to Daily Beast reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau, police are searching for an anti-vaxxer extremist who is suspected in an alleged plot to kidnap Health Minister Karl Lauterbach in response to pandemic restrictions.

Four suspects have already been arrested in the alleged plot, which, German authorities say, also included plans to start a civil war, attack Germany’s power system and cause a nationwide power outage. But a fifth suspect, as of April 14, has yet to be captured.

“Police, on (April 14), searched 20 residential properties and confiscated dozens of weapons, including a Kalashnikov assault rifle and weapons,” Nadeau explains. “They said they also found foreign currency, gold bars and silver coins to be used to fund the foiled plan that was ‘intended to cause civil war-like conditions and ultimately overthrow the democratic system in Germany,’ the state prosecutor said in announcing the arrests.”

According to Nadeau, German police arrested the four suspects “after surveilling a Telegram chat group called Vereinte Patrioten, which translates to United Patriots.”

“Police also found a stash of fake vaccination certificates and negative COVID tests that would have been needed to gain entry to carry out the plot,” Nadeau reports. “Last week, Germany’s lower house of parliament voted down a vaccine mandate for people over age 60 after Chancellor Olaf Scholz failed to win support.”

The plot to kidnap Lauterbach arguably resembles a far-right kidnapping plot in the U.S.: the one to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in response to pandemic restrictions in her state.

Despite the kidnapping plot in Germany, Lauterbach plans to keep working, according to Nadeau.

At a news conference on April 14, Lauterbach told reporters, “This shows that COVID protests have not just radicalized, but that this is about more than just COVID.”

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