German police thwart suspected Islamic extremist ricin attack plot, prosecutors say

Lester Mason
June 14, 2018

"The suspect is believed to have begun procuring material online in mid-May, prosecutors said".

The authorities are still investigating exactly how the suspect planned to use the toxin, but said he was working on a "biological weapon" attack in Germany.

The 29-year-old Tunisian citizen, identified as Sief Allah H., has been in police custody for two days after special police units raided his apartment late on Tuesday, seizing the highly toxic ricin agent.

Investigators found the toxin after a search of his apartment in Cologne, federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe said in a written statement.

They did not comment on a report that American intelligence tipped off German investigators.

Possession of the highly toxic substance, which is 6,000 times more powerful than cyanide, is restricted by a 1997 global convention on chemical weapons. The substance kills the body's cells by preventing them from creating protein.

Prosecutors said they now have no evidence of a connection with any extremist organization.

The seeds of the castor bean plant are naturally poisonous and can be used to create ricin.

Symptoms of poisoning may occur between four and 24 hours depending on exposure with death taking place between 36 and 72 hours, the organisation says.

The suspect acquired 1,000 castor beans and an electric coffee grinder, as well as other ricin-production-related components from an online store in mid-May, the prosecution said.

The newspaper also reported that authorities had been observing the suspect for some time. It said the suspect lived in the Chorweiler neighborhood of Cologne with his wife, a convert to Islam, and four children. There is no known antidote. It is 6,000 times more powerful than cyanide.

German police have arrested a Tunisian man, suspected of producing ricin and conspiring to commit a "serious act of violence", prosecutors said.

Germany remains on high alert for jihadist attacks after several assaults claimed by ISIS in the country.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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