After murder threats were made against Premier Michael Kretschmer for supporting coronavirus measures, police in Germany’s eastern state of Saxony initiated a series of raids.
Anti-vaccination extremists on the far right are believed of organising violence with crossbows and other “piercing weapons.”
In Germany, Saxony has the lowest Covid vaccination uptake. Mr. Kretschmer warned of Covid “hysteria” last year, but later apologised and advocated stricter controls.
On Wednesday, Olaf Scholz, Germany’s new chancellor, told MPs that “this tiny minority of unconstrained radicals” will not be allowed to impose their will on society.
In reaction to threats made against the state premier highlighted by a German TV broadcast a week ago, police in Saxony said security personnel, including the elite Soko Rex anti-extremist team, were raiding a number of places.
The Frontal show, whose journalists joined a group of about 100 people conversing via the Telegram messaging app, was the first to uncover the plot against Mr Kretschmer.
Dresden Online Networking members would debate ideas and even meet up in parks, according to public broadcaster ZDF. One chat in which one individual mentioned being armed and ready was tracked by the software.
According to police, claims have been made about plans to assassinate the state premier and other state officials.
In Germany, the discoveries sparked outrage. Mr. Kretschmer stated that all legal methods should be employed in the face of such threats.
“Public officials should not be afraid to share their minds and do their jobs,” he stated.
Mr. Kretschmer, a member of the center-right Christian Democrats, who were in power until last week, was initially opposed to the tightening of Covid regulations.
He has altered his opinion after Saxony became one of the German states hardest afflicted by the coronavirus.
With 61.9 percent having received a first dose, Saxony has the lowest vaccination rate in Germany and the second highest infection rate. Only Thuringia, a neighbouring state, has a greater rate of instances.
Mr. Kretschmer mentioned this week that being vaccinated is a race against time.
Last week, Germany’s new government passed a draught law requiring all health staff and troops to get vaccinated by next spring, and Chancellor Scholz has advocated mandatory immunizations for all citizens beginning in 2022.
Several protests against tougher restrictions have taken place in Germany. On Monday night, around 3,500 protesters marched through Magdeburg, Germany’s easternmost city, singing “peace, freedom, no dictatorship.”
According to accounts, at least a dozen threatening letters containing meat have been delivered to politicians, media outlets, and public organisations. The threats, according to Berlin’s RBB Info, warned of “bloody opposition” to obligatory vaccines.