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Prosecutors say Anti-Vaxxer team planned to provoke civil war in Germany over COVID restrictions

German police are looking for a fifth suspect after four people were arrested for what is described as a complex plot to cripple the country and incite civil war over COVID restrictions. The scheme allegedly includes a plan to abduct Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and sabotage utilities to cut off power across the country.

Police on Thursday searched 20 residential properties and confiscated dozens of weapons, including a Kalashnikov assault rifle and weapons. They also said they had found foreign currency, gold bars and silver coins to be used to finance the thwarted plan, “designed to provoke civil war-like conditions and ultimately overthrow Germany’s democratic system”. , the state prosecutor said in announcing the arrests.

Police arrested him after watching a Telegram chat group called Vereinte Patrioten, which means United Patriots.

Police also found a stash of fake vaccination certificates and negative COVID tests that would be needed to log in to carry out the plot. Last week, Germany’s lower house of parliament rejected a mandate to vaccinate people over the age of 60 after Chancellor Olaf Scholz failed to win support.

“The two main suspects are believed to have agreed with others to stage an attack on the federal health minister,” the Koblenz prosecutor’s office said. They are part of the far-right Reichsburger group, which believes the modern German state is illegitimate.

In a separate incident Wednesday, German prosecutors also accused a young neo-Nazi of links to the US-based Atomwaffen division for allegedly trying to start a “racial war” and “finding a terrorist organization” to “preserve the white population.” Prosecutors say he intended to commit a “serious and dangerous act of violence” against the state and has been in prison since September 2021.

The latest threats come after a similar plot was thwarted in December when police found hunting weapons, including crossbows and sharp spikes, in the city of Dresden, which were intended to be used to kidnap local Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer. . The group believed to be responsible for the attack had about 130 far-right anti-wax supporters.

Lauterbach, who said he would continue to work despite the kidnapping plot, warned that more threats could come. “This shows that the protests against COVID have not just radicalized,” he said on Thursday, according to Reuters. “But this is more than COVID.”