Planned Lauterbach kidnapping: This is known from the chat group

Updated on 4/20/2022 at 5:37 p.m

  • The Attorney General’s Office has provided details of the group alleged to have planned the kidnapping of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach.
  • Four of the five men who form the core of the extremist chat group are already in custody.
  • And then comes a threatening email.

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At the core of the extremist chat group, which is said to have planned the kidnapping of Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and a coup, are five suspects. Four men are in custody.

They are accused of preparing a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state and of violating the Weapons and War Weapons Control Act. The public prosecutor’s office made no statements about the fifth person for “investigative tactical reasons”, said a spokesman on Wednesday in Koblenz. The accused are between 41 and 55 years old.

Investigators identified a total of 70 chat members

A total of twelve German nationals are being investigated; according to current knowledge, however, the others had nothing to do with the attack and kidnapping plans. They would be accused of other crimes such as illegal possession of weapons or falsifying vaccination certificates.

The investigators had identified a total of around 70 people who moved in the orbit of the extremists, who called themselves “United Patriots” or “Germany Day X”, among other things. But by no means all of them would have made themselves liable to prosecution. Many would have joined the chat group out of sympathy or curiosity.

Arrest after threatening email to Attorney General

A 30-year-old man was arrested after a threatening email to the Koblenz Attorney General on Wednesday. The letter, which is available to the German Press Agency, calls for the immediate release of the four arrested and the activation of the Telegram chat group “United Patriots”.

The sender threatens terrorist and explosive attacks in Germany and Europe as well as hostage-taking and murder. The suspect was arrested outside of Rhineland-Palatinate and is being interrogated, reported a spokesman for the State Criminal Police Office in Mainz. He did not give details.

“Colourful hodgepodge of confusion”

The Attorney General’s office assumes that the suspects in the extremist chat group are a “motley hodgepodge of confusion”. The spectrum included conspirators, corona deniers, opponents of corona policy and so-called Reich citizens. Many are located on the right edge. However, evidence of right-wing extremism was not found in all of them. The common background is a deep-seated anti-state disenchantment with politics and the state. The right-wing extremist is a sociological-political, but not a legal classification.

The Interior Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Roger Lewentz (SPD), had spoken of “right-wing terrorism”. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) spoke of a “serious terrorist threat”.

The two main suspects from Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Rhineland-Palatinate and Falkensee near Berlin are said to have been the key planners and organizers. Investigators also found a Kalashnikov assault rifle on the man from near Berlin. A “real arms depot” was found at the third suspect in the Lower Bavarian district of Landshut. The investigators assume that he wanted to take an active part in the planned anti-state actions and use or procure weapons.

The fourth prisoner on remand – a 43-year-old from near Oldenburg in Lower Saxony – is accused of having taken care of raising the funds required for the planned crimes. (sbi/dpa)

A group is said to have planned attacks and the kidnapping of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach in Germany. A spokesman for the Koblenz public prosecutor’s office said four suspects from the area surrounding the corona protest scene had been arrested. Lauterbach was dismayed.