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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Extremism: After anti-terror operation: Investigations into attack plans

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Two suspected terror planners have been arrested. How great was the risk of an Islamist-motivated poison attack? And why did the decisive tip apparently come from abroad again?

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After the arrest of two Iranian brothers in the Ruhr area, the security authorities are continuing to investigate how specific their plans for an Islamist-motivated poison attack were.

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According to the Düsseldorf public prosecutor’s office, the two men, aged 32 and 25, are said to have tried to procure the toxins cyanide and ricin in order to kill “an unspecified number of people”. At least when the 32-year-old’s apartment was searched in Castrop-Rauxel on Sunday night, no poison was found.

Ricin is on the weapons of war list

On Sunday evening, an arrest warrant was issued against the two brothers, as the dpa learned from investigators. The Attorney General sees the suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence that endangers the state and conspiring to commit a crime, namely murder. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the highly toxic ricin is included in the war weapons list under “biological weapons”. Cyanide is also highly toxic, even the smallest amounts are fatal to humans.

Initially, the suspicion was directed against the 32-year-old. The 25-year-old was also in his apartment during the operation on Sunday night. It was initially unclear how concretely the possible attack plans had progressed and what a possible target would have been.

As the dpa learned from security circles, it is suspected that the 32-year-old is a supporter of a Sunni Islamist terrorist group. He is said not to have acted on behalf of Iranian state authorities. The 25-year-old brother was known to the police beforehand, but for reasons unrelated to Islamist terrorism. The men are said to have both been in Germany since 2015.

Crucial leads from US intelligence agencies

The German investigators had become active because of a tip from colleagues from the USA. According to the spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, a US security agency had pointed out the 32-year-old.

The terrorism expert Peter Neumann pointed out that in almost every terrorist plan that has been uncovered in recent years, the crucial clue has come from the US secret services. Union interior expert Alexander Throm criticized Germany’s dependence on foreign intelligence services.

“This dependency represents a significant security risk, which becomes even greater with the restrictive attitude of the traffic light towards our own services,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group with a view to the red-green-yellow federal government.

Source: Stern

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