Germany arrested Iranian accused of planning chemical attack

The man, aged 32, is suspected of having obtained cyanide and ricin

Counter-terrorism investigators have arrested a 32-year-old Iranian man in Castrop-Rauxel in northwestern Ruhr area, Germany, accused of planning an Islamic-motivated terrorist attack. The man is suspected of having obtained the toxins cyanide and ricin, the public prosecutor in Düsseldorf and the police in Recklinghausen and Münster said today. He was arrested along with another man. According to regional public broadcaster WDR, the two arrested are brothers. They didn’t resist. Ricin is highly toxic and is officially listed in Germany as a biological weapon.

Investigators searched the 32-year-old’s home in Castrop-Rauxel around midnight on Saturday. Many wore protective suits. A large area around was cordoned off, a large contingent of police officers, firefighters and emergency services deployed.

The evidence was placed in blue bins and taken to a decontamination site set up by firefighters, according to the dpa. “The defendant is suspected of having prepared a serious act of violence dangerous for the state,” the investigators said.

According to Bild, the Federal Criminal Police BKA kept tabs on the men for days, after receiving a warning from a “friendly intelligence agency”. A previous case of ricin in Cologne four years ago led to long prison sentences. Again, a tip had come in from a foreign intelligence agency after large quantities of the toxin had been purchased. Authorities estimated at the time that a bomb filled with steel balls and ricin could have killed 200 people.