10 January 2023 :
Iranian Arrested In Germany On Suspicion Of Planning Terrorist Attack
Anti-terrorist agents in Germany have detained a 32-year-old Iranian man who is accused of planning an Islamist-motivated attack using chemicals.
The DPA news agency reported Sunday that the man along with another one has been arrested in Castrop-Rauxel in Germany's north-western Ruhr area.
They raided the man's Castrop-Rauxel residence, in the Ruhr region, but prosecutors said no poison was found.
The suspect's brother was also arrested and the pair remain in custody.
While they did not find poison, police did seize electronic devices from the residence.
A Düsseldorf senior public prosecutor said the tip-off about the man came from a friendly foreign intelligence service.
Police say he is suspected of having obtained the toxins cyanide and ricin which are highly toxic and listed as biological weapons by Germany.
"The accused is suspected of having prepared a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state," investigators said. "Evidence has been secured and is being evaluated," added DPA.
It has not yet been decided whether the 32-year-old will be brought before a court, but police said, it may carry a prison sentence of between six months to 10 years.
Tabloid newspaper Bild reported that German authorities had been watching the men for days, after receiving a warning from a "friendly intelligence agency."
According to local media, the raids were carried out by agents wearing protective suits, due to the chemical hazard.
Dpa cited unnamed German security official saying there was no indication the suspect had acted on behalf of the Iranian state, but rather that he allegedly supported a Sunni extremist group. Sunnis are a religious minority in Iran.
Germany has been targeted in recent years by several Islamist attacks. In 2016 a truck attack on Christmas markets in Berlin killed 12 people and left dozens injured.
Five years ago, German police arrested a Tunisian man and his wife on suspicion of planning to carry out a ricin attack in the name of the Islamic State group. They were later found guilty and sentenced to 10 and eight years' imprisonment, respectively.
Even small amounts of ricin, which is produced from the seeds of castor oil plants, can kill an adult if eaten, injected or inhaled.
German domestic intelligence services say the number of supporters of Islamist causes is diminishing, citing the "military breakup" of the ISIS group.