Around 3,000 police officers carried out a series of raids on Wednesday morning across Germany, arresting 25 people over an alleged coup attempt, according to federal prosecutors.
The raids were carried out at 130 sites in eleven federal states, targeting suspected far-right extremists who allegedly wanted to overthrow the state order in Germany and replace it with its own.
People arrested are adherents of the so-called Reich Citizens (Reichsbuerger) movement. Twenty-two of them are said to be members of the terrorist organization, and three others are considered supporters, prosecutors said.
Members of the so-called Reich Citizens movement amass illegal weapons and often refuse to pay taxes. Some are convinced that Germany is run by members of the so-called “deep state” — a conspiracy theory — that needs to be toppled.
Authorities said among those arrested was “Heinrich XIII P. R,” named in German media as Prince Heinrich XIII of the House of Reuss, which ruled parts of Germany until 1918. NBC News has not verified his identity.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency estimates that the movement has around 21,000 adherents.
“We defend ourselves with all strength against the enemies of democracy,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wrote on Twitter.
She said the group was “driven by fantasies of violent overturn and conspiracy ideologies” and hated democracy and the state. “Further investigations will give a clear picture of how far the coup plans had progressed,” she said.