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Iranian national accused of planning chemical warfare in Germany

Iranian national accused of planning chemical warfare in Germany

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An Iranian national was arrested in his underwear on Sunday after being caught trying to use a biological weapon in northwestern Germany.

The 32-year-old is believed to have obtained cyanide and ricin in preparation for a “serious act of violence”, investigators said, according to German publication Welt.

The Iranian and another man, whose identity was not disclosed, were arrested by counter-terrorism investigators at the former Castrop-Rauxel’s living quarters around midnight.

Both were arrested in underpants – and jackets, which were only discarded when authorities descended on the building, eyewitnesses told Welt.

Investigators wearing protective suits carried the toxins and other evidence out of the building in blue barrels and deposited them in a decontamination station set up by the fire department.

The accused is suspected of having prepared a serious act of violence dangerous to the state,” the investigators said. “The search is to find relevant toxins and other evidence.”

Police have not revealed the plans for the alleged attack, how far the plans went or whether the men had chosen a target, but warned it could have been an Islamist attack.

Investigators wore protective suits to clean up the evidence.
dpa/Christoph Reichwein
Emergency services in protective suits in Castrop-Rauxel during a large-scale police and fire operation.
A “Secret Service friend” tipped off officials about the scheme.
dpa/Christoph Reichwein

Investigators pursued the men for several days, Welt reported.

Ricin is one of the most toxic biological agents known and can be used as an effective airborne weapon, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cyanide, which is fatal to humans in even the smallest amounts, is also listed on the federal agency’s bioterrorist chemicals page.

Officials are further investigating the evidence before formally filing charges, the publication said.


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