Ger­many ar­rests man over ‘toxic sub­stance’

Shanghai Daily - - WORLD - (AFP)

GER­MAN po­lice have ar­rested a Tu­nisian man af­ter dis­cov­er­ing “toxic sub­stances” at his flat in Cologne, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day, with pros­e­cu­tors not rul­ing out a pos­si­ble ter­ror mo­tive.

The man was de­tained Tues­day night af­ter of­fi­cers raided his flat and came across “un­known sub­stances” that are cur­rently be­ing an­a­lyzed by spe­cial­ists, Cologne po­lice said in a state­ment.

The sus­pect’s wife was also taken in for ques­tion­ing but is be­lieved to have since been re­leased.

“We de­cided to take very swift ac­tion to ward off pos­si­ble danger,” po­lice spokesman An­dre Fass­ben­der told DPA news agency.

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors have opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion against the Tu­nisian on sus­pi­cion of “pre­par­ing a se­ri­ous act of vi­o­lence against the state.”

A spokesman for the fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice, which han­dles ter­ror-re­lated cases in Ger­many, said that they were not in­ves­ti­gat­ing the wife.

Ac­cord­ing to broad­caster NTV, the woman is a Ger­man na­tional who re­cently con­verted to Is­lam. She was said to be preg­nant.

Po­lice of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing spe­cial forces, were still comb­ing the cou­ple’s flat on the first floor of a large apart­ment build­ing on Wed­nes­day. Chem­i­cal ex­perts wear­ing pro­tec­tive gear were seen re­mov­ing plas­tic bags from the scene.

The cou­ple’s chil­dren have been taken into the care of city author­i­ties.

Ger­many re­mains on high alert for ji­hadist at­tacks af­ter sev­eral as­saults claimed by the Is­lamic State group in the coun­try in re­cent years.

In the worst such at­tack, Tu­nisian asy­lum seeker Anis Amri rammed a truck into crowds at a Ber­lin Christ­mas mar­ket in De­cem­ber 2016, killing 12.

Po­lice of­fi­cers exit a build­ing yes­ter­day in Cologne, where Ger­man po­lice ar­rested a Tu­nisian man af­ter dis­cov­er­ing “toxic sub­stances” at his flat. — AFP

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