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Anti-terror operation in Germany: Arrest warrants against brothers applied for

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The brothers are accused, among other things, of wanting to obtain toxins for an Islamist-motivated attack.

During the search in the German Ruhr area because of the possibly planned attack, the investigators found no toxins in the suspect’s apartment. A spokesman for the Düsseldorf public prosecutor said on Sunday the German Press Agency. A 32-year-old is suspected of having procured cyanide and ricin for an Islamist-motivated attack.

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The investigators did not initially answer whether he succeeded and whether the toxins were stored elsewhere. It was also initially unclear how concrete a possible attack plan was. That is still the subject of the investigation, said the spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office. The 32-year-old is suspected of preparing a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state. It was initially unclear whether and when the man should be brought before a magistrate.

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Major anti-terror operation: Investigators found no poison

CASTROP-RAUXEL. An Iranian in Germany is said to have planned an Islamist attack with toxins.

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Major anti-terror operation: Investigators found no poison

Anti-terror investigators searched the 32-year-old’s apartment in Castrop-Rauxel on Sunday night and arrested him. As the dpa learned from security circles, it is suspected that he is a supporter of a Sunni Islamist terrorist group. He is said not to have acted on behalf of Iranian state authorities. According to the spokesman for the Attorney General, the reference to the 32-year-old came from an authority in a “friendly state”.

The German investigators received a tip from colleagues in the USA before the anti-terrorist operation in the Ruhr area. There was a tip from a US security agency, a spokesman for the Düsseldorf public prosecutor said on Sunday the German Press Agency.

Neither cyanide nor ricin were found in the apartment of the 32-year-old Iranian, said senior public prosecutor Holger Heming. But storage media had been confiscated, he said on Sunday in Düsseldorf. As with the target of the attack, Hemin referred to the ongoing investigations and did not provide any information. An arrest warrant for the 32-year-old and possibly also for his brother is currently being examined, said Heming. We are also in contact with the Attorney General.

Video: Poison attack planned in Germany

During the operation, the brother of the 32-year-old was arrested, who happened to be in the 32-year-old’s apartment in Castrop-Rauxel when the police attacked him. This was known to the police beforehand, but for reasons unrelated to Islamist terrorism. It is not yet clear whether he was aware of the alleged attack plans. The men are said to have both been in Germany since 2015.

According to information from the tabloid “Bild”, the German Federal Criminal Police Office has been investigating the Iranian for several days. A “friend of the secret service” is said to have warned the German security authorities about the danger of a chemical bomb attack. According to the “Bild” newspaper, it is the FBI from the USA. The attack plans were well advanced.

The German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser does not see the danger of Islamist attacks in Germany averted. According to a statement from her ministry, the SPD politician said on Sunday that Germany is still in the immediate target range of Islamist terrorist organizations. Islamist-motivated individual perpetrators are another significant danger. “Our security authorities therefore expect preparations for an attack at any time.”

Germany dependent on US intelligence

Terrorism expert Peter Neumann sees the apparently prevented attack as proof that the Islamist threat in Germany still exists. “This threat is less than six or seven years ago, but it still exists. You mustn’t forget that,” said the professor at King’s College in London on Sunday at the meeting of the CSU members of the Bundestag in the Bavarian Seeon monastery.

The security expert pointed out that in almost every terror plan that has been uncovered in recent years, the decisive clue has come from US secret services. Germany is still very dependent on America’s secret services when it comes to fighting terrorism internally. “Actually, this should result in people trying to develop such skills here in Germany in order to reduce this dependency.”

Four years ago, investigations in Cologne showed just how dangerous ricin is: in a 15-story building in the high-rise district of Chorweiler, a Tunisian and his German wife produced the chemical and set off test explosions. A foreign secret service became suspicious about online purchases of large quantities of castor seeds and gave a tip. Both were sentenced to long prison terms.

An expert report showed that, purely arithmetically, 13,500 people could have died from the amount of poison. With the planned spread by a cluster bomb spiked with steel balls, it would have killed around 200 people.

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