Iranian terrorist preparing chemical weapon attack arrested in Germany

After being tipped off by foreign intel agency, German police found quantities of deadly ricin and cyanide in the man’s apartment.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

German police arrested an Iranian national late Saturday night who is suspected of buying toxins to use in a chemical attack, the Dusseldorf public prosecutor’s office announced Sunday morning.

“The accused is suspected of having prepared a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state,” the investigators said. “Evidence has been secured and is being evaluated” regarding the “Islamist-motivated attack.”

German media reported that large numbers of emergency service personnel came to the suspect’s apartment in the city of Castrop-Rauxel around midnight. These included police antiterror units, the fire department and rescue workers, many wearing protective suits due to the possible biological and chemical dangers involved.

According to a report in Bild, staff members of the Robert Koch Institute, a federal agency responsible for disease control and prevention, were part of the raiding team as well.

The authorities seized unknown quantities of cyanide and ricin, both of which are fatal in the smallest amounts. Ricin has no known antidote.  It’s “one of the most toxic biological agents known” according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which lists it as a Schedule 1 chemical warfare agent.

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The poisons were brought out in blue drums from the apartment to a decontamination site set up by the fire department, the reports said.

A second man was also taken into custody in the apartment, with neither one resisting arrest. A WDR television report said that the two men were brothers.

Bild reported that the German authorities had received a tip about the danger of a possible chemical attack from a “friendly” secret service and had had the 32-year-old Iranian under surveillance for several days before swooping in for the arrest.

It is as yet unclear if the plans for the attack already included a concrete target. The investigation by the North Rhine-Westphalia Central Office for the Prosecution of Terrorism at the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor’s Office is still ongoing.

Just last month, German news reports quoted the attorney-general’s office Rhine Westphalia as charging the Iran’s Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) with being behind several November attacks aimed at the German Jewish community. These included firebombing one synagogue and the attempted arson of another, as well firing shots at a third, all in different cities.

“We’re talking about state terrorism here,” one source told the local media.

This is also not the first time the German police have uncovered a plot involving ricin. In June 2018, they arrested a Tunisian Islamist in an apartment in Cologne who was in the midst of extracting ricin from over 3,000 castor beans, allegedly using instructions that the terrorist Islamic State organization distributed on the Internet.