Tunisian held for plot against Germany
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”.