IIn the case of the Iranians suspected of terror in Castrop-Rauxel, there were new searches on Monday. It’s about two garages, said the chief public prosecutor of the general public prosecutor’s office in Düsseldorf, Holger Heming, the TV station “Welt”. The night before, arrest warrants had been issued against the 32 and 25-year-old brothers.
“Further investigations led to the finding that the 32-year-old suspect has two garages that are currently being searched, again using special forces to ensure appropriate security measures,” said Heming. Previously, there had been a corresponding witness reference.
“According to our current state of knowledge, it is not the case that the accused had rented the garages himself, as far as I heard, but just had them,” said the Attorney General. Therefore, the authorities only came across this information on Sunday. As a result, the further search warrant was obtained, “which is now probably being enforced”.
The brothers are accused of trying to obtain the toxins cyanide and ricin in order to kill an unspecified number of people. Both were arrested on Sunday night. The 32-year-old’s apartment, where both suspects were staying, was also searched.
According to senior public prosecutor Holger Heming, the German investigators had received a specific tip “from the security authority of a friendly state” on Saturday. As the “Bild” newspaper reports, it is the FBI from the United States. The attack plans were well advanced, it said.
As with the target of the attack, Senior Public Prosecutor Heming referred to the ongoing investigations and did not provide any information. We are also in contact with the Attorney General. This takes over investigations if the plans could have posed a concrete threat to the state. “The authorities are now investigating at high pressure,” said NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul. The results would have to be awaited.
Reul criticizes the way information is obtained online
After the anti-terrorist operation in Castrop-Rauxel, the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of the Interior, Herbert Reul, criticized politicians’ hesitation in obtaining information online. “The important thing is that you know early on who is planning what,” said the CDU politician on Monday in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. He doesn’t understand why Germany is having such a hard time here and not using the opportunities that are available.
The federal states have very different legal conditions as to how they can intercept and examine which information on the Internet. “We are very reserved in Germany,” said the minister. International cooperation among the security authorities, on the other hand, works so well that information is transmitted very quickly. The police were able to make all the preparations “from one day to the next” and arrest the young men.
Esken: Keep an eye on all extremists
During the night, the police searched the Iranian’s apartment with a large number of rescue workers. The emergency services wore protective suits. According to media reports, experts from the Robert Koch Institute were also on the spot.
As early as 2018, an Islamist from Cologne wanted to use a ricin bomb. The Tunisian had already produced a warfare agent with castor seeds before he was arrested with his wife. Ricin poisoning can be fatal within a short period of time.
The Green domestic politician Konstantin von Notz called for not losing sight of Islamist terror. “Once again, it is becoming clear that we must not lose sight of or underestimate the dangers posed by Islamist perpetrators, given all the current, very serious threats from militant, well-connected right-wing extremism,” he told the Funke media group.
The SPD chairwoman Saskia Esken rejected the accusation that the fight against right-wing and left-wing extremism obscured the view of possible Islamist attacks. “Islamic extremism is also very much in the focus of the security authorities,” said Esken in Berlin. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) would not only have a strong focus on the extremist fringes of the political spectrum, Esken added.
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