In the case of the suspected bio-bombers from Castrop-Rauxel, investigators focus on secret chat histories. And: Suspicious substances were found during a second search of the apartment in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The two brothers mostly communicated via the crypto messenger app “Wickr”. There they felt absolutely safe from discovery. After all, their clandestine chat is said to have been about a delicate matter: an attack with the highly toxic substances ricin and cyanide.
On January 6, Monir J., 32, informed his younger brother Jalal that he had ordered the iron powder needed to make a bio-weapon online. He expects delivery on Friday. But the show didn’t materialize at first. The next day, the Iranian wrote that one still had to wait for the last missing substance, in order to then euphorically announce later that Saturday that he now had some iron powder at his disposal.
Shortly before midnight, a police special task force stormed Monir J.’s apartment in Castrop-Rauxel, where his brother was also staying while he was being released from a closed correctional facility. The Central Office for Terrorism Prosecution NRW at the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor’s Office obtained arrest warrants from the district court against the Iranians for conspiring to commit a crime. It’s about murder.
The state parliament in Düsseldorf dealt with the spectacular case in a special session of the legal committee on Monday morning. After a Tunisian supporter of the terrorist militia “Islamic State” (IS) and his German wife planned attacks with highly toxic ricin bombs in Cologne in 2018, it is now rumored that the local state security officers prevented a second attack with a biological weapon .
It also fits into the context that the investigators ransacked the older brother’s apartment again this Monday. According to FOCUS online information, some suspicious substances were found in a backpack, among other things. These are now being examined to determine whether poison bombs could be produced with their help. It is still unclear why the emergency services did not find anything during the first search nine days ago.
NRW Minister of Justice Benjamin Limbach (Greens) reported to the MPs that a tip from US counter-terrorism led to the suspects being tracked down. On December 30, the FBI informed the German colleagues at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) about a Telegram user located in Germany who described his project to a conversation partner via a Wickr account. Accordingly, he planned a terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve on behalf of IS. Using a highly toxic weapon made of ricin and cyanide, according to the FBI, he wanted to poison a large crowd of revelers.
On January 6, the US authorities then informed the BKA of the IP address of the terror suspect. At the same time, they announced that the IS supporters still lacked basic materials such as iron powder to build the bio-weapons, so they had to postpone the assassination. However, J. let the chat partner know that he would continue with his plan.
The verification of the IP address led the BKA to Monir J. in Castrop-Rauxel. In 2015, the Iranian had sought asylum in Germany as a Christian convert who was allegedly being persecuted in his homeland. So far, there have been no state security findings against the 32-year-old suspect.
During the raid nine days ago, three mobile phones and other storage media were confiscated. The mobile phones are still being evaluated. The prosecutors also discovered 36 grams of marijuana – packed in small bags ready for sale.
While the older brother is a blank slate in the judiciary, Jalal J. is currently serving a seven-year sentence for attempted murder. In 2018 he had become a large branch from a bridge on the A 45 motorway and almost killed a driver. Because he was considered an alcoholic at the time, the delinquent came to a correctional facility in mid-January 2020 after a year and a half in prison to treat his addiction.
After a few different stations, Jalal J. was transferred to a closed ward in the “Im Deerth” clinic in Hagen. On April 19, 2022, the doctors recommended easing. For example, unaccompanied exit outside the facility along with day vacations. “The risk of harming others or oneself” was classified as low. The concessions served the purpose of “load testing under real conditions”. The public prosecutor’s office as enforcement supervisor agreed.
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At the end of August, Jalal J. was allowed to spend several nights with his relatives, especially his older brother. The young man had registered in a secondary school to catch up on his secondary school leaving certificate, was the reason. He also worked in non-profit organizations and completed a two-week internship.
On November 17, the clinic reported that Jalal J. is currently clean. He passed all alcohol and drug tests. At no time did the doctors and nurses find any evidence of Islamist sentiments. Just as little as his older brother.
His Dortmund criminal defense attorney Ina Klimpke has now scheduled a detention review for her client at the district court. Whether the lawyer will uphold the application, “I will decide after inspecting the files, which unfortunately has not yet taken place”.