Germany Foils Cyanide-and-Ricin Terror Attack; Says Iranian Suspect Worked for Sunni Islamist Outfit

  • Updated

German police arrested an Iranian citizen who allegedly plotted a chemical attack. The arrest was made in the city of Castrop-Rauxel, authorities said. The Iranian, 32 years old, had procured deadly poisons cyanide and ricin to commit the terror attack, German police said on Sunday.

The Iranian suspect planned a serious act of violence endangering the state, the police said. The terror suspect's residence was searched as part of the investigation. The man had planned to carry out the attack on New Year's eve but could not get the materials by then. He then collected enough materials since then and was readying for the attack, the German authorities said.

berlin terror attack as lorry plows into crowd killing 12
Police and emergency workers stand next to a crashed truck at the site of an accident at a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz square near the fashionable Kurfuerstendamm avenue in the west of Berlin, Germany, December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

FBI Behind Tip-Off

"We had a serious tip-off that prompted the police to intervene during the night. The authorities are now investigating at full speed," said Herbert Reul, the Interior Minister of in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state.

German tabloid Bild said the arrest was made following a tip-off from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Germany continues to be a direct target of Islamist terrorist organisations. Islamist-motivated lone perpetrators are another considerable danger ... Our security authorities therefore expect preparations for an attack at any time," German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said.

The German security establishment said the Iranian was not operating on behalf of the Iran government but was a sympathizer of the Islamic State terror outfit. According to DPA, the German security sources described the suspect as a supporter of a "Sunni Islamistic terror group".

Ansaar International Germany
Germany outlaws Islamic organization Ansaar International for terror funding. Facebook

Brother Hatched the Plot

The Guardian reported that along with the main suspect, another man believed to be his brother was also detained in the raid. The second man has also been known to the police, the authorities said. The brothers have been living in Germany since 2015, the report said.

Germany saw the worst Islamist terror attack in 2016 when a Tunisian asylum seeker plowed a vehicle into a Christmas crowd, killing several people. A truck crashed through a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring nearly 50. The attack was similar to the Nice terror attack in France. The Nice attack that killed 86 people was carried out by a Tunisian-born man who drove a 19-tonne truck through Bastile Day revellers along the beach front.

Germany, which has accepted a huge influx of refugees from Middle-Eastern Muslim nations, has been on high alert for terror attacks in recent years. The German interior minister said the country has prevented 21 Muslim extremist attacks since 2000.

Join the Discussion
READ MORE