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'Weapons arsenal' found at home of Reichsbürger extremist

March 3, 2023

The suspect has been charged with violating several firearms laws. The Reichsbürger are a far-right group that believes the German government and constitution are illegitimate.

A police officer at a Reichsbürger protest in Munich
A police officer at a Reichsbürger protest in MunichImage: Sachelle Babbar/Zuma/picture alliance

A suspected member of the right-wing extremist group known as the Reichsbürger was arrested on Friday, prosecutors said. Police found a "large arsenal of weapons," when searching his home in Munich.

Andreas S., 55, had first come to the attention of the German authorities on suspicions of spreading hate speech. In particular, he had posted to social media mocking the two police officers killed in the western town of Kusel last year.

Police reportedly found three hand grenades, knives, batons, a crossbow, a semi-automatic pistol and several thousand rounds of live ammunition in his apartment. He has been charged with violating several firearm laws.

Who are the Reichsbürger?

The Reichsbürger, or "citizens of Reich," were once a fringe group, but are now estimated to have at least 21,000 affiliates. They maintain that the modern German government is illegitimate, as is the German constitution.

The group came under particular scrunity late last year when the member of a minor noble family was found to be at the center of a plot to overthrow Chancellor Olaf Scholz and install himself as Germany's leader.

es/rc (AFP, dpa)