Tu­nisian held for plot against Ger­many

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTINSIGHT -

THE SUS­PECT HAD SUC­CEEDED IN MAK­ING THE TOXIN EAR­LIER THIS MONTH AND THE SUB­STANCE HAS BEEN SE­CURED BY THE AU­THOR­I­TIES, PROS­E­CU­TORS SAID.

FRANK­FURT: A Tu­nisian man ar­rested in Ger­many is sus­pected of try­ing to build a bi­o­log­i­cal weapon us­ing the deadly poi­son ricin, pros­e­cu­tors said on Thursday, stress­ing how­ever there was no in­di­ca­tion of any “con­crete at­tack plans”.

The 29-year-old, iden­ti­fied as Sief Al­lah H., was de­tained af­ter po­lice stormed his flat in Cologne on Tuesday, where they found un­known “toxic sub­stances” that turned out to be ricin. “He is strongly sus­pected of in­ten­tion­ally man­u­fac­tur­ing bi­o­log­i­cal weapons,” fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors said in a state­ment. He has been charged with vi­o­lat­ing Ger­man law on the pos­ses­sion of weapons of war, and “pre­par­ing a se­ri­ous act of vi­o­lence against the state”.

But pros­e­cu­tors cau­tioned that it re­mained un­clear whether he was planning to use ricin to carry out an Is­lamist at­tack in Ger­many. “There are no in­di­ca­tions that the ac­cused be­longs to a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion, nor of any con­crete at­tack plans at a cer­tain time or place,” they said.

Ac­cord­ing to Ger­man me­dia, the po­lice raid came af­ter Ger­man in­tel­li­gence ser­vices were tipped off by for­eign au­thor­i­ties who had grown sus­pi­cious of the sus­pect’s on­line pur­chases.

Pros­e­cu­tors said Sief Al­lah H. started buy­ing the nec­es­sary equip­ment and in­gre­di­ents to make ricin in mid-may — in­clud­ing an on­line pur­chase of “a thou­sand cas­tor seeds and an elec­tric cof­fee grinder”.

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