Koln: highly toxic ricin found in high-rise building – bka says attack planned with bio-bomb

According to the federal criminal police office, the highly toxic ricin seized in a high-rise building in colonia was intended for an attack of new dimensions with a biological explosive device. "Here there were already quite concrete preparations for such an act, with, if you will, a bio-bomb. And this is already a unique case in germany" BKA president holger munch told RBB-inforadio on wednesday. According to new findings by investigators, the suspected 29-year-old tunisian was also in contact with "persons from the radical islamist spectrum".

According to the federal prosecutor's office in karlsruhe, an investigation is currently underway to determine whether these contacts were members of a terrorist organization. To the 29-year-old sief allah H. Even the authorities reported: "there are no sufficient indications so far that the accused was a member of a terrorist organization." The tunisian was arrested after the poison was found just over a week ago.

Suspect apparently wanted to join IS

According to the federal prosecutor's office, he tried twice in 2017 to leave for syria via turkey – presumably to join the terrorist militia islamic state (IS) – but without success. The authorities suspect the man of having manufactured biological weapons – the biotoxin ricin – and thus violating the war weapons control act. In addition, it sees an "initial suspicion for the preparation of a serious act of violence endangering the state"." The investigation suggested "that the suspect had considered making an explosive device", the federal prosecutor's office declared.

At the same time, it became clear that the tunisian had stored considerably more poison than previously known, as well as several materials – apparently for the construction of a bomb – in his apartment. Since the search in the high-rise building in coln on 12. June 3150 ricin seeds and 84.3 milligrams of ricin seized. Previously, there had been talk of more than 1000 seeds. "All the castor seeds" the suspect had purchased via the internet. In addition, 250 metal balls, two bottles of nail polish remover containing acetone, wire with soldered bulbs and 950 grams of a gray powder – a mixture of aluminum powder and pyrotechnic substances from fireworks corps – were found.

"Very likely" terrorist attack planned

According to the president of the federal constitutional protection agency, hans-georg maaben, the man "very likely" had planned a terrorist attack. Sief allah H. Alleged to have largely completed his preparations for a terrorist attack using the highly toxic ricin when police struck. "The prevention of a possible attack is a success of the cooperation of the security authorities on a national and international level", stressed maaben.

According to BKA chief munch, the suspected man is said to have used instructions "from islamist organizations on the internet" to build the bomb have oriented. The suspect had already extracted highly poisonous ricin from the castor beans. Ricin can have a lethal effect even in the smallest quantities. According to RBB, a foreign partner service had reported to the federal office for the protection of the constitution that the tunisian had ordered components for the construction of an explosive device on the internet.

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"We do not yet know what specific target was targeted", said the BKA president. The question of whether there were associates or accomplices is also still open. The BKA is concerned about the high number of radicalized individuals who need to be kept in mind. 770 people are currently classified as dangerous. The federal prosecutor's office stated that it saw "no indications of concrete plans for an attack".

The suspect is said to have previously moved in islamist circles in tunisia. The husband of a german woman came to germany via family reunification. According to the federal office for the protection of the constitution, the terrorist militia IS has experimented with ricin, which was found in iraq and on the iraqi-syrian border.

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