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German authorities arrested four people suspected of plotting to kidnap the country’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and destroy infrastructure in order to trigger “a civil war,” the Washington Post reported Thursday.
Police said the individuals are alleged to be part of a Telegram chat group called the United Patriots. The detained people are also linked to the “corona protest scene” and Reichsbürger movement, which rejects the modern German state in favor of the German Reich.
The accused were planning to attack substations and power lines across Germany, as well as kidnap Lauterbach and subject him to a show trial.
Authorities added that the arrests were made following undercover operations and raids on more than 20 properties across the country.
The recent plot is the latest in a string of incidents stemming from the anger that some Germans feel over restrictions on people not vaccinated against Covid-19 and proposals to make vaccination compulsory for the general public, according to Reuters.
German security agencies say that far-right groups have been trying to weaponize the frustration to gain more followers.
In December, police foiled an alleged plot to assassinate the prime minister of the state of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer.