German Anti-Vaxxers Accused of Assassination Plot

Crossbows were seized in predawn raids
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2021 5:23 PM CST
German Anti-Vaxxers Accused of Assassination Plot
A police car is seen in the Pieschen district during a raid after threats against Saxony's Prime Minister Kretschmer, in Dresden, Germany, early Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.   (Robert Michael/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – "We won't put up with a tiny minority of uninhibited extremists trying to impose its will on the whole of our society," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned Wednesday, hours after police raided the homes of anti-vaccination activists suspected of plotting to assassinate a state governor. Prosecutors said predawn raids at several locations in Dresden targeted five men and one woman suspected of preparing to carry out violent acts, Deutsche Welle reports. Police said they found "crossbows, parts of weapons, and weapons" in the raids. Police declined to confirm whether arrests were made.

Police said the raids followed an investigation of an anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown Telegram group in which people "uttered plans to murder Saxony's governor and other members of Saxony's state government," per CNN. The state governor, Michael Kretschmer, initially opposed tight COVID restrictions but changed course after Saxony, which has the lowest vaccination rate in Germany, was hit hard by a surge in cases, the BBC reports.

With Germany on course to make COVID vaccination mandatory early next year, authorities have warned that a collection of anti-restriction groups known as the Querdenken movement is becoming increasingly radicalized, the AP reports. Scholz, in his first speech to lawmakers as chancellor, said Wednesday that while debate on COVID restrictions is welcome, "the denial of reality, absurd conspiracy theories, wanton disinformation, and violent extremism" will not be accepted. A "small extremist minority," he said, has "not only turned its back on science, rationality, and common sense, but also on our society, our democracy, and our community." (Read more Germany stories.)

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