25 pro-QAnon extremists arrested in far-right plot to overthrow Germany’s federal government

25 pro-QAnon extremists arrested in far-right plot to overthrow Germany’s federal government
German police in 2016 (Wikimedia Commons)

The United States isn’t the only major liberal democracy where, in the early 2020s, far-right extremists have hoped to pull off a coup. In Germany, according to the New York Times, federal authorities have arrested 25 people suspected of a plot to overthrow the country’s federal government. And they appear to be greatly influenced by extremists in the U.S., including QAnon.

Reporting for the Times on December 7, reporters Melissa Eddy and Erika Solomon explain, “In early-morning raids carried out across the country, some 3000 police and Special Forces officers detained people believed to be members and supporters of the group, which prosecutors said had been formed in the past year and was operating on the conviction that ‘Germany is currently ruled by members of a so-called deep state’ that needed to be overthrown…. Among those detained were a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party who had served in the German Parliament, a member of the German nobility, and a Russian citizen accused of supporting the group’s plans.”

In addition to the 25 arrests, Eddy and Solomon report, federal German prosecutors are investigating “a total of 52 suspects.”

READ MORE:How bankrupt liberalism is empowering fascist movements in Europe and the US

“The group’s plans included an armed attack on the German Parliament building, known as the Reichstag, the prosecutors said, and members had organized arms training and attempted to recruit personnel from the German security services,” the Times journalists report. “The prosecutors added that the group’s members had also formed a sort of shadow government that they intended to install if their plans were successful. It remains unclear, however, how close they were to acting on those ambitions.”

Eddy and Solomon add, “The prosecutors described the group, which they did not identify, as being influenced by the ideologies of the conspiracy group QAnon and a right-wing German conspiracy group called the Reichsbürger, or Citizens of the Reich, which believes that Germany’s post-World War II republic is not a sovereign country, but a corporation set up by the victorious Allies.”

The parallels between the far-right extremists suspected in Germany and far-right extremists in the U.S. include not only QAnon-influenced beliefs and an obsession with eradicating “the deep state,” but also, an affinity for the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin. Eddy and Solomon report that one of the 25 people arrested had “tried to make contact with representatives of the Russian government over the plans” for a coup.

Another Germany/U.S. parallel: in 2020, QAnon supporters and anti-vaxxers tried to storm the Reichstag. On January 6, 2021, members of QAnon and other far-right groups — including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers — stormed the U.S. Capitol Building.

READ MORE: Top US conservative think tank president blasted for applauding Italy’s election of 'neo-fascist' prime minister

“Germany’s intelligence services have, for years, said that the greatest threat to the country came from domestic, far-right extremist groups,” according to Eddy and Solomon. “Right-wing extremists in 2019 killed a local politician in the German state of Hessen, and in the same year attempted to attack a synagogue.”

READ MORE: The ascent of the global far right is more disturbing than any time since fascism’s 1930s heyday

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