German authorities arrested 25 individuals, including a German prince, in connection with an alleged plan to overthrow the existing German government.
At a Wednesday press conference, German Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank announced authorities carried out arrests early on Wednesday morning. German prosecutors said they believe 71-year-old Prince Heinrich XIII of Reuss, who was among those arrested, was a leader of the plot.
Prince Heinrich XIII is a minor aristocrat and member of the former German royal house of Reuss, NPR reported. Germany did away with most titles and legal privileges for its nobility in 1919, but their descendants are still sometimes referred to by nobility titles.
Others involved in the alleged coup plot group included an active German military service member and former police and military members.
German prosecutors allege the group was motivated by a range of conspiracy theories and ideologies, including QAnon. The group is allegedly convinced that the German government is controlled by a “deep-state.” The group also allegedly believes that a secret alliance of governments, intelligence services and militaries of different countries — including Russia and the U.S. — would aid them in their efforts to take down the German “deep state.”
The New York Times reported the alleged coup plotters planned to sabotage Germany’s electrical grid as part of their effort and that they had already purchased satellite phones to facilitate communications after the power went out.
Another individual involved in the alleged coup plot was a Russian national that German authorities referred to as Vitalia B. German prosecutors said the Russian individual tried to facilitate contact between Prince Heinrich XIII and representatives of the Russian Federation but saw no indications that the Russian representatives responded positively to his communications efforts.
“This appears to be a German internal problem,” Russian Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, Reuters reported. “There can be no question of any Russian interference.”