German police launched 15 raids on Tuesday, aimed at members of a far-right group that believes in the World War Two German Reich, and eschews federal Germany.
16 people at the centre of the investigation are suspected of being part of the ‘Reichsbuerger’ movement. It is understood that the suspects had forged documents, including identity cards and driving licences, which represent their loyalty to the Reich, rather than the federal republic of modern Germany.
They’re part of a group called “Reichsbürger” (Citizens of the Empire), which refuses to acknowledge the republic of Germany.— Jenny Darukat (@JennyDarukat) February 4, 2017
Seven of the 16 are representatives of the so-called “Federal State of Bavaria”. Their goal is to re-establish the German Reich.
Some of the suspects have refused to pay fines or even taxes, and have told authorities that they do not recognise their jurisdiction.
These raids follow an incident in October 2016, when a ‘Reichsbuerger’ member opened fire on police in Bavaria, killing one.
The police searches took place in three southern German states: Bavaria, Baden Wurttemberg, and Rhineland-Palatinate. Police searched 15 apartments and businesses.
The suspects are aged between 40 and 62, and include two women.