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Germany makes arrests in alleged coup plot

SHOTLIST: RESTRICTION SUMMARY: NO ACCESS GERMANYTV NEWSKONTOR - NO ACCESS GERMANYBerlin - 7 December 2022++NIGHT SHOTS++1. Police officers raiding houseHEADLINE: Germany arrests 25 on suspicion of planning coupANNOTATION: Thousands of police carried out a series of raids across much of Germany on Wednesday against suspected far-right extremists.ANNOTATION: The extremists allegedly sought to overthrow the state in an armed coup. Federal prosecutors said some 3,000 officers searched 130 sites. 2. Window, zoom out to police in front of house3. Various of Federal Criminal Police Office agents arrivingANNOTATION: Justice Minister Marco Buschmann called the raids an "anti-terrorism operation." He said attacks on state institutions may have been planned.ANNOTATION: The raids targeted the so-called Reich Citizens movement. It has members that reject Germany's postwar constitution and want the gov't overthrown.4. Police outside houseANNOTATION: Prosecutors said 22 German citizens were detained on suspicion of "membership in a terrorist organization." ++DAY SHOTS++5. Judge, who has been identified as Birgit M.-W., being led away by policeANNOTATION: One person detained Wednesday was identified by prosecutors as Birgit M.-W. Der Spiegel reported that she is a judge and former lawmaker.ANNOTATION: Three other people, including a Russian citizen, are suspected of supporting the organization, prosecutors said. STORYLINE: Thousands of police officers carried out raids across much of Germany on Wednesday against suspected far-right extremists who allegedly sought to overthrow the government in an armed coup. Officials said 25 people were detained. Federal prosecutors said some 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany's 16 states against adherents of the so-called Reich Citizens movement. Some movement members reject Germany's postwar constitution and have called for bringing down the government.Justice Minister Marco Buschmann described the raids as an “anti-terrorism operation,” adding that the suspects may have planned an armed attack on institutions of the state.Germany's top security official said the group was “driven by violent coup fantasies and conspiracy ideologies.”Prosecutors said 22 German citizens were detained on suspicion of "membership in a terrorist organization." Three other people, including a Russian citizen, were held on suspicion of supporting the organization, they said. Another 27 people were under investigation.German media outlet Der Spiegel reported the searched locations included the barracks of Germany's special forces unit KSK in the southwestern town of Calw. The unit received scrutiny in the past over alleged far-right involvement by some soldiers.Federal prosecutors declined to confirm or deny that the barracks was searched.Along with detentions in Germany, prosecutors said one person was detained in the Austrian town of Kitzbuehel and another in the Italian city of Perugia.Prosecutors said those detained are alleged to last year have formed a “terrorist organization with the goal of overturning the existing state order in Germany and replace it with their own form of state, which was already in the course of being founded.”The suspects were aware their aim could only be achieved by military means and with force, prosecutors said.Some of the group's members had made “concrete preparations” to storm Germany's federal parliament with a small armed group, according to prosecutors. “The details (of this plan) still need to be investigated” to determine whether any of the suspects can be charged with treason, they said.The group is alleged to have believed in a “conglomerate of conspiracy theories consisting of narratives from the so-called Reich Citizens as well as QAnon ideology,” according to the statement. Prosecutors added that members of the group also believe Germany is ruled by a so-called “deep state;” similar baseless claims about the United States were made by former President Donald Trump.Prosecutors identified the suspected ringleaders as Heinrich XIII P. R. and Ruediger v. P., in line with German privacy rules. Der Spiegel reported that the former was a well-known 71-year-old member of a minor German noble family, while the latter was a 69-year-old former paratrooper.Federal prosecutors said Heinrich XIII P. R., whom the group planned to install as Germany's new leader, had contacted Russian officials with the aim of negotiating a new order in the country once the German government was overthrown. He was allegedly assisted in this by a Russian woman, Vitalia B.“According to current investigations there is no indication however that the persons contacted responded positively to his request,” prosecutors said.Prosecutors identified another individual detained by police Wednesday as Birgit M.-W. Der Spiegel reported she is a judge and former lawmaker with the far-right Alternative for Germany party.===========================================================Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: info@aparchive.com(ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory.
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