German authorities on Wednesday arrested 25 members or supporters of a far-right domestic terrorist group known as the "Reichsbürger" movement who were allegedly involved in a plot to overthrow the government and install a "prince" with ties to the former German royal family.
The Reichsbürger group denies the existence of the modern-day German government, and factions of the group were banned in 2020 as Berlin looked to tamp down on right-wing extremism and antisemitism.
The suspects arrested Wednesday reportedly belonged to a splinter group that was founded in November 2021 inspired by QAnon conspiracy theories and the belief that the "German Reich" still existed despite the Nazis' defeat in World War II, according to Reuters.
German officials announced that a nationwide raid was carried out Wednesday morning, and suspects were arrested for their alleged involvement in a plan to overthrow the government by force, German news outlet DW reported.
"Since this morning a large anti-terror operation is taking place. The Federal Public Prosecutor General is investigating a suspected terror network from the Reichsbürger scene," German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said in a statement on Twitter. "The suspicion exists that an armed attack on constitutional organs was planned."
The raid reportedly covered 130 properties belonging to 52 suspects in 11 German states.
Of the 25 arrested, 24 were German and one was Russia. Another 27 suspects remain at large, according to reports.
The plot reportedly intended to instate a member of a German noble family with ties to the royal House of Reuss, identified by prosecutors as Heinrich XIII P. R., who used the title "prince" and sat as ringleader of the group.
According to DW, prosecutors said the group had made contact with Russian officials who allegedly supported the overthrow of Berlin, though details on the officials were not provided, and the Russian embassy in Berlin reportedly denied any links to the Reichsbürger group.
One active duty solider with the Bundeswehr's Special Forces Command, as well as several Bundeswehr reservists, were among the suspects whose barracks were raided by officials Wednesday.
The raids were reportedly triggered by an investigation into another Reichsbürger group that had plotted to kidnap German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, reported DW.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the case revealed the ongoing threat posed by the Reichsbürger group.
"The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from the Reichsbürger scene," she said in a statement. "We know how to defend ourselves with all our might against the enemies of democracy."