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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Berlin - Raghida Bahnam

Germany Searches for Chemicals after Arresting Iranian Brothers Accused of Terrorism

German criminal police confiscate evidence from the apartment of an Iranian detainee who was preparing a terrorist operation (AP)

German authorities raided new sites in search of chemicals, a day after they had arrested two Iranian suspects who were preparing a terrorist attack using biological weapons, according to the Düsseldorf prosecutor’s office.

Police and investigators are still searching for evidence in the case, but they have not yet found any chemicals, according to security sources cited by the German news website, Der Spiegel.

Officials said Monday that, during searches of multiple locations in connection with the investigation, they found a package with unknown contents in a garage, which was to be removed for inspection. Some homes in the immediate vicinity were evacuated as a precaution.

Police agents raided the Iranians’ home in the city of Castrop-Rauxel, in western Germany’s North-Rhine Westphalia state, around midnight Saturday night after neighbors had reported suspicious activity.

Several police, firefighters and rescue workers took part, with many emergency personnel donning biochemical protection suits.

Despite the raid, authorities couldn’t find what they were looking for.

Two arrest warrants were issued against the Iranians, who are brothers, and the public prosecutor charged the main suspect in the case, Mounir J., a 32-year-old Iranian national, with preparing a terrorist attack because of his sympathy with ISIS.

The prosecution is accusing Mounir of wanting to make a biological bomb after possessing highly toxic materials, namely ricin and cyanide.

The police arrested the main suspect and his brother after obtaining information about their preparation for an imminent attack from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The involvement of the brother, who was arrested during the operation, remains unclear. According to German media, the main suspect wanted to carry out the attack on New Year's Eve.

He, however, was not able to obtain all the necessary materials in time.

The two brothers arrived in Germany in 2015 and applied for asylum.

According to media sources, the main suspect claimed that he was a Christian persecuted in Iran.

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