KASTROP-RAUXEL, Germany, Jan 8 (Reuters) – German police have detained a 32-year-old Iranian citizen on suspicion of buying the deadly poisons cyanide and ricin, authorities in western Germany said Carry out “Islamic motives” attacks on Sunday.
According to a joint press release from the Düsseldorf prosecutor’s office and the police in the cities of Recklinghausen and Münster, the residence of the suspect in the city of Castrop-Rauxel was searched as part of the investigation.
Police said the Iranian was suspected of procuring cyanide and ricin to carry out an Islam-motivated attack and was suspected of planning “serious acts of violence that endangered the country.” This is punishable by imprisonment for 6 months to 10 years.
“Germany remains a direct target for Islamic terrorist groups. Islamist-motivated wage perpetrators are another considerable danger,” German Interior Minister Nancy Feser said after news of the investigation was released.
“Our security services therefore want to be ready for an attack at any time,” she said, adding that German security services had prevented 21 Islamic attacks since 2000.
Holger Heming of the Düsseldorf prosecutor’s office told Reuters television that police had seized electronic storage devices, but neither cyanide nor ricin had been found during the search at Castrop-Rauxel.
Castrop-Rauxel, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, said interior minister Herbert Ruhr: “We received serious reports that prompted the police to carry out nightly investigations. Intervened. Authorities are currently investigating at full speed.”
Hemming said the tip came from a security agency in a “friendly country,” without elaborating. The popular tabloid “Bild” stated that the relevant agency is the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A second person was taken into custody as part of the search, police said, adding that a decision on whether to issue a formal arrest warrant would be made at a later date as the investigation continues.
And clearly identified this person as the suspect’s younger brother.
Ricin, which occurs naturally in castor beans, can cause death within 36 to 72 hours of exposure to an amount as small as a pinhead. There is no known antidote.
The number of members or supporters of Islamist causes fell by 1.5% to 28,290 in 2021, according to Germany’s domestic intelligence service, due to “military divisions” in the militant Islamic State group.
December 19, 2016 Eleven people were killed and dozens were injured when Anis Amri, a Tunisian asylum seeker with Islamic ties, drove his truck into a crowded West Berlin Christmas market.
News of Sunday’s raid also came a month after German authorities arrested 25 members and supporters of a far-right group that the prosecutor’s office said was preparing to violently overthrow the state.
Reporting by Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt and Stephane Nitschke and Andreas Kranz in Castrop-Rauxel; Additional reporting by Markus Wacket in Berlin; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle
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