German police have detained a 32-year-old Iranian citizen suspected of having acquired the deadly poisons cyanide and ricin to carry out an “Islamist-motivated” attack, authorities in western Germany said on Sunday.
The suspect’s residence in the city of Castrop-Rauxel was searched as part of the investigation, according to a joint press release from the Dusseldorf public prosecutor’s office and the police of the cities of Recklinghausen and Muenster.
Police said the Iranian was suspected of planning a “serious act of violence endangering the state” by allegedly purchasing cyanide and ricin to carry out an Islamist-motivated attack. This carries a prison sentence of between 6 months and 10 years.
“Germany remains a direct target of Islamist terrorist organizations. Islamist-motivated lone perpetrators pose another considerable danger,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said after news of the investigation broke.
“Therefore, our security authorities expect an attack to be prepared at any time,” she declared, adding that since 2000 German security authorities had prevented 21 Islamist attacks in Germany.
Police seized electronic storage devices but found neither cyanide nor ricin during the search in Castrop-Rauxel, Holger Heming of the Dusseldorf public prosecutor’s office told Reuters TV.
Police said a second person was detained in connection with the searches, adding that a decision on whether to issue an official arrest warrant would be made at a later date as the investigation continues.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt and Stephane Nitschke and Andreas Kranz in Castrop-Rauxel; Additional reporting by Markus Wacket in Berlin; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle,
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