Anti-Vaxxers planned the crossbow murder of German government official Michael Kretschmer, police say
Police in the former East German city of Dresden say they confiscated a cache of weapons including crossbows, sharp points and firearms during morning raids on properties linked to a right-wing anti-vaccine group who threatened to kill a local government official. on anti-COVID measures.
On December 8, the German television investigative program ZDF frontal released an investigative report exposing a plot hatched on the messaging service Telegram to assassinate Prime Minister of Saxony Michael Kretschmer with hunting weapons during his recent lockdown measures intended to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 and of its variants in Germany.
The group, which called itself Dresden Offlinevernetzung, or Dresden Offline Networking, had about 130 members, all with far-right anti-vax sympathies, according to the report. Germany is the epicenter of the current pandemic wave in Europe, and the national government recently called on regions to adopt measures to severely restrict unvaccinated people from work and leisure activities. Health authorities predict that up to 6,000 people could be in intensive care by Christmas, even if prevention measures work.
The situation is so serious that German Health Minister Jens Spahn has warned that by the end of winter, “almost everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, recovered or dead… This is the reality “.
Yet anti-vax propaganda has kept Germany at one of the lowest vaccination levels in Europe as warnings to those trying to enforce measures grow increasingly hostile. Among the threats uncovered on Telegram against Kretschmer were plans to use “armed force if necessary” with links to discreet sites where crossbows, axes and unregistered firearms could be purchased.
On Wednesday, the German intelligence agency, known as the LKA, confirmed that it had infiltrated the Telegram forum to determine where to carry out raids. Authorities said they found hunting weapons in the cache of weapons they believe would be used against Kretschmer and others at half a dozen locations. “The LKA is in action today as part of the report on frontal, where an investigation is ongoing into a potentially serious crime,” LKA spokesman Tom Bernhardt told reporters at one of the raid locations.
He emailed to say the death threats against Kretschmer were directly related to the COVID restrictions he had enforced. Saxony, which has the lowest vaccination rate in Germany, is the epicenter of the current wave driven by the Delta variant.
Elsewhere in Germany, police confirmed on Wednesday that many government officials and media received raw meat wrapped in foil with threatening messages related to COVID restrictions.
One of the letters accompanying the meat read: “The meat is infected with radiating Covid-19 viruses and Zyklon B,” according to a Berlin police spokeswoman. (Zyklon B is the poisonous substance used by Hitler’s Nazis to murder millions of Jews in the gas chambers of concentration camps during World War II.)
“Resistance to vaccination and measures will be bloody and unsavory.”