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Armed jihadis plotted or carried out more attacks in Europe last year than in 2016, with a total of 33 attacks either planned or executed, Europol said in a report. Are terrorists now turning to biological warfare on European soil?
German police investigators have recently found more than 3,000 castor bean seeds in the Cologne apartment of a 29-year old Tunisian, who was arrested for making a biological weapon. Castor beans are used in making the toxin ricin. Ricin is 6,000 times more potent than cyanide and is lethal in minute doses if swallowed, inhaled or injected. It has no known antidote.
Sief Allah H. had reportedly manufactured ricin for a terrorist attack. “There were very concrete preparations for such an act using what you might call a biological bomb,” said the president of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), Holger Münch, describing it as an “unprecedented” threat. German prosecutors say that about 3,150 castor bean seeds and 84.3 milligrams of ricin were found in the suspect’s apartment.
The man, who is married to a German woman, had been under surveillance after he twice tried to travel to Syria last year. He bought the seeds online, and used instructions posted online by the ISIS to make ricin.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency chief Hans-Georg Maassen said a phone-in tip helped authorities confirm their suspicions about the Tunisian and foil the extremist’s plan, according to homelandsecuritynewswire.com.