Iran was arrested in Germany on suspicion of preparing a biological attack

According to a statement from the Attorney General’s Office and Münster Police, the suspect’s residence in Castrop-Rauxel (North Rhine-Westphalia) was searched overnight for “toxic materials” intended to carry out an attack.

The Iranian is “suspected of obtaining cyanide and ricin with the intention of carrying out an Islamic extremist attack and preparing a serious act of violence to threaten national security,” the investigators noted.

However, the authorities did not give details about whether there is a definite and immediate threat or not.

Ricin is considered a highly toxic agent by the Robert Koch Institute, which is responsible for clinical and health surveillance in Germany, and is a “biological weapon” and is extracted from the seeds of the ricin plant. It can be a deadly poison like cyanide.

A second person was also arrested during the operation. According to public broadcaster WDR, he is the brother of the prime suspect.

According to German media, police wearing protective clothing were involved in the search because of the casualties.

According to the Bild newspaper, German authorities were warned a few days ago by foreign intelligence about the threat of an attack with a “chemical bomb”.

In 2018, German police had already arrested a 31-year-old Tunisian man and his wife, suspected of preparing what would have been the country’s first biological attack.

On the couple, who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group, investigators found 84.3 milligrams of ricin and about 3,300 seeds of the plant used to make the poison. Two years later, the man was sentenced to 10 years in prison and his wife to eight years.

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Germany has been the target of several Islamist attacks in recent years, including a truck attack on a Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 13 people.

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