- German police raided suspected members and supporters of a far-right terror group on Wednesday.
- Twenty-five people were charged with planning a violent attack on the German government, reports say.
- Prosecutors allege the group was influenced by US QAnon conspiracies.
Suspected members and supporters of a far-right German terror group that prosecutors accused of plotting to overthrow the government were influenced by the unfounded US conspiracy theory QAnon.
Police arrested 25 people in connection with the reichsburger movement – a far-right group founded before November 2021 – in raids across the country Wednesday, CNN reportedciting a statement from the German federal prosecutor’s office.
“Members of the group follow a conglomerate of conspiracy myths consisting of narratives of the so-called Reichsbürger as well as QAnon ideology,” the US attorney’s office said in a statement, according to a CNN translation.
It added that “the defendants are united by a profound rejection of state institutions and the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany, which over time has led to their decision to participate in their violent and undertake concrete preparatory actions for this purpose.”
“It is suspected that an armed attack against constitutional bodies was planned,” Justice Minister Marco Buschmann tweeted, according to a Washington Post. translation.
According to the report, another 27 people were targeted in the raids as possible supporters of the group, although they were not arrested.
America’s QAnon conspiracy theory movement has taken root in Germany for years; is where most of the European followers of the ideology are lying.
During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-lockdown protesters in Germany waved flags bearing the group’s “Q” symbol. Meanwhile, Western officials have said they are concerned Germany could become the headquarters of the QAnon movement.
In addition to QAnon, Germany has struggled to combat the rise of far-right extremism in recent years, including a plot by a German soldier to attack prominent politicians and a Jewish human rights activist. according to France24.
Another example of this is the growing influence of Alternative for Germany (AfD), which according to critics has Nazi and neo-Nazi sympathizers.
Last year, Germany’s national spy agency put the AfD party under surveillance for its links to extremism.