May 23, 2024

A self-proclaimed Reich Citizen extremist has threatened police officers in western Germany with a knife, triggering an operation by the country’s SEK special forces.

The special forces finally overpowered the intoxicated 30-year-old man in the town of Velbert to the east of the city of Dusseldorf and arrested him, police announced in the early hours of Wednesday.

He was slightly injured in the process. After treatment in hospital, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital based on an order from authorities.

The police had initially been called to a block of flats late on Tuesday evening because of damage to property. The man had damaged a door. When the officers arrived, the 30-year-old threatened them with a knife, according to the police.

He also shouted that he hated the police and was a Reich Citizen, a group known in German as the Reichsbürger that believes the historical German Reich, founded in 1871 with an emperor at the head, still exists today and that all current state institutions should be rejected as illegitimate.

Because the man locked himself in his flat, the special forces were called in to assist. The SEK broke down the door and overpowered him.

The officers found several cutting and stabbing weapons in the flat. These included several prohibited knives and a hatchet. The weapons were seized.

Special police forces leave the apartment building after the attack. A man describing himself as a Reich citizen "Reichsbuerger" threatened police officers in Velbert with a knife, triggering a SWAT operation. Christoph Reichwein/dpaSpecial police forces leave the apartment building after the attack. A man describing himself as a Reich citizen "Reichsbuerger" threatened police officers in Velbert with a knife, triggering a SWAT operation. Christoph Reichwein/dpa

Special police forces leave the apartment building after the attack. A man describing himself as a Reich citizen “Reichsbuerger” threatened police officers in Velbert with a knife, triggering a SWAT operation. Christoph Reichwein/dpa

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