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Man arrested in Germany, suspected of chemical attack plot

BERLIN (AFP) – An Iranian man has been arrested in western Germany suspected of preparing an “extremist attack” using cyanide and ricin, police and prosecutors said yesterday.

Muenster police and the Duesseldorf prosecutors’ office said in a press release that officers searched a residence in the town of Castrop-Rauxel for “toxic substances” intended to carry out an attack.

The 32-year-old Iranian was “suspected of having prepared a serious act of violence threatening the security of the state by obtaining cyanide and ricin with a view to committing an extremist attack”, said investigators.

The arrest was carried out shortly before midnight on Saturday evening, a spokeswoman for the police said. Another person, said to be the main suspect’s brother, was also taken into custody during the operation, she said.

The 32-year-old suspect will be presented in the coming days to an investigating judge ahead of possible pre-trial detention, police said.

Ricin is a highly toxic substance, which is classed as a “chemical weapon” in Germany. Similar to cyanide, ricin can be lethal.

According to local media reports, the raids were carried out by agents wearing protective suits, due to the chemical hazard.

German authorities were tipped off to the risk of an attack with a “chemical bomb” several days ago by a foreign intelligence service, the German daily Bild reported.

A large-scale operation by the police and fire department in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany. PHOTO: AP
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