The Iranian citizen had obtained cyanide and ricin in order to carry out a major attack
Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, provided information that led to the arrest of an Iranian who planned a major attack in Germany, a report said on Sunday.
German police detained a 32-year-old Iranian citizen suspected of obtaining deadly poisons, such as cyanide and ricin, to carry out an “Islamist-motivated” attack, German authorities said. Israeli sources confirmed the Mossad’s involvement after German Bild newspaper reported that a friendly nation’s intelligence agency provided crucial information.
The suspect’s residence in the town of Castrop-Rauxel, western Germany, was searched as part of the investigation, according to a joint press release from the Düsseldorf public prosecutor’s office and the police of the towns of Recklinghausen and Muenster. German police also arrested a second person, who turned out to be the suspect’s brother, aged 25.
Both men were staying in Germany since 2015. The warning that local authorities have received only referred to one of the brothers but the other man was already known to the police and was in the apartment at the time of the police raid.
The interior minister of the federal state, where they resided, said that the warning was very concrete and prompted police to act immediately. Firefighters and chemicals experts were deployed to assist the police signaling that the situation was treated as a potential terrorist attack from the beginning.
In Israel, security officials are conducting further investigations to determine whether the Iranian suspect intended to attack Jewish or Israeli targets. An arrest warrant was issued for the two brothers which allows the authorities to imprison them as the investigation continues. If plans for the attack prove to be true the two men could face a sentence between three and 15 years in prison. If the Islamist motive behind it is confirmed the sentence could be even longer.
According to German domestic intelligence, the number of members or supporters of Islamist causes fell by 1.5 percent to 28,290 people in 2021, due to the “split” of the militant group Islamic State. Sunday’s arrests come a month after German authorities arrested 25 members and supporters of a far-right group that the prosecutor’s office said was plotting a violent coup d’état.