According to the state Ministry of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia, the terror suspects from Castrop-Rauxel had originally planned an attack on New Year's Eve on behalf of the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS). It was also announced on Monday that there had been new searches during which further evidence was found.
Security circles told the German Press Agency that these were suspicious substances. When asked by dpa, a spokesman for the Düsseldorf public prosecutor's office did not confirm a report by the ARD capital studio, according to which the substances in question were substances for the production of toxins.
The ARD message about the new searches burst on Monday morning in a special session of the state parliament's legal committee on the subject of Castrop-Rauxel. State Minister of Justice Benjamin Limbach (Greens) said when asked by the SPD that he had only just heard about it from the report on "tagesschau.de".
On behalf of the so-called IS
The special session of the legal committee revealed that the terror suspects had originally planned an attack on New Year's Eve on behalf of the IS. In a written report by the state Ministry of Justice on Castrop-Rauxel that was published in the morning and sent to the MPs, it said that as part of an international exchange of information, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) had been informed that a Telegram user localized in Germany "had a terrorist attack on behalf of the so-called IS on New Year's Eve 2022".
The general indication of an attack with ricin or cyanide was received by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on December 30th. It was only on January 6th that the BKA was given an IP address that led to the Telegram account of the 32-year-old suspect in Castrop-Rauxel.
According to the report, the State Criminal Police Office (LKA) informed the central public prosecutor's office in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is responsible for terrorism, on January 7th. The same night there was a raid on the 32-year-old and his brother (25). According to the report, the suspects had talked via Telegram that they were still missing iron powder. He's gotten a bit in the meantime, the 32-year-old finally wrote on January 7 shortly before the raid.
No concrete answers to questions from the opposition
In the committee, the opposition mainly asked questions about what exactly happened between the first tip on December 30 and the information from the public prosecutor on January 7. There were no concrete answers.
Meanwhile, officials explained why the 25-year-old was even allowed to stay with his brother. The man was sentenced to seven years in prison and detention in a rehabilitation center after a conviction for attempted murder in 2019. According to the report to the committee, the 25-year-old had enrolled in a school, worked for non-profit organizations and completed an internship. Therefore, he was allowed to relax in the forensic prison.
There were no indications that the man had an Islamist attitude. Representatives of the authorities added in the committee that relaxation is part of the therapy and should prepare the patient for life in freedom.
On Wednesday, the legal committee of the state parliament will meet again on the subject, on Thursday the anti-terrorist operation will also be on the agenda of the state parliament's interior committee, which is responsible for police matters. According to the Attorney General's Office, detention review dates are also scheduled for the end of the week.
No toxin finds despite intensive search
According to the report to the legal committee, the prosecutor's office accuses the two men of having planned together "to kill an unspecified number of people through the use of toxins". According to earlier information from the investigators, they are said to have tried to get ricin or cyanide. Such substances had not been found during the arrest. But 36 bags with one gram of marijuana each. According to a report by the ARD capital studio, substances for the production of toxins have now also been discovered in the 32-year-old's apartment.
According to the Attorney General's Office on Monday, "due to the special security precautions" during the first searches last Thursday, the objects were searched again without any special measures - such as full-body protective suits. According to earlier information and the report to the legal committee of the state parliament, between January 7th and 9th, two garages and the room of the 25-year-old in the Hagen correctional facility were searched in addition to the apartment.