Self-described German soldier in COVID threat video arrested

International

BERLIN (AP) — A man identifying himself as a German army soldier who recorded a threatening video with demands including the removal of coronavirus restrictions was arrested on Thursday, police said.

The roughly one-minute clip circulating online featured the man, who said he was a staff sergeant, demanding a response “by tomorrow” to his calls for a lifting of restrictions and the cancellation of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for servicepeople.

He said that “this is a warning.” A text that accompanied the video said that “soldiers are prepared for dialogue until 16:00 tomorrow.”

Police said that the man was arrested in central Munich early Thursday evening, news agency dpa reported. Police cars had been deployed to the area following a large demonstration on Wednesday by critics of coronavirus policies, in defiance of a ban.

The Defense Ministry tweeted earlier Thursday that the video “contains threats against the state of law that are unacceptable.” It added that “the consequences are already being examined.”

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht wrote that the military needs “upstanding people who stand firmly on the foundation of our constitution.” Anyone who doesn’t share those values “has no place in our Bundeswehr,” she added.

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