Germany Arrests 25 Accused of Plotting Coup

Image copyright: DPA/PA [via BBC News]

The Facts

  • On Wednesday, German police arrested 25 people for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. The detained include former Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) member of the Bundestag — the country's parliament — Birgit Malsack-Winkemann and members of the Reichsbürger movement.

  • Terming the raids across 11 of Germany's 16 states against the so-called Reich Citizens movement an "anti-terrorism operation," Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said that the suspects may have planned an armed attack on state institutions.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

It's absurd to believe that the detained, most of them in their 60s or even 70s, would be able to storm the parliament and overthrow the government. This operation was carried out with the sole purpose of creating a furor in the media to divert the German people's attention from the incompetence of the Scholz administration and the nation's catastrophic economic problems, including its energy crisis.

Pro-establishment narrative

The Reichsbürger movement used to be mocked, but security forces have been increasingly concerned about the group's radicalization as conspiracy theories have permeated German society since the outbreak of the pandemic. As this far-right scene was responsible for over 1K extremist criminal acts last year and death threats to politicians, this operation was necessary to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control.

Metaculus Prediction

Establishment split



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