A Russian suspected Islamist militant accused of having plotted an explosives attack was arrested by German police commandos on Wednesday.
Identified only as 31-year-old Magomed-Ali C., he was allegedly an accomplice of Clement Baur, who was arrested in Marseilles shortly before the 2017 French elections accused of plotting an imminent attack in Germany.
The Russian man "is suspected of having plotted, together with Clement B., detained in France, a serious act of violence against the state," German federal prosecutors said in a statement.
Commandos of the elite police unit GSG 9 stormed the man's Berlin apartment in an operation which prosecutors said was linked to the Baur case.
Baur and another suspect, who had both pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, were arrested in April 2017 in a Marseilles apartment.
French police found an IS flag, a loaded Uzi sub-machine gun, two pistols, a homemade grenade and TATP, a volatile explosive dubbed "mother of Satan".
The German prosecutors said that Magomed-Ali C. and Baur had also planned an explosives attack "at an unknown location in Germany, meant to maim or kill the greatest possible number of people".
For this purpose, Magomed-Ali C. had kept in his Berlin flat "a substantial amount" of TATP since at least October 2016.
Those attack plans were foiled however by an unspecified German "preventive police operation", which led the accomplices to split up and Baur to travel to France, said the prosecutors.
Germany remains on high alert after several deadly attacks claimed by the IS group, including a 2016 truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market by Tunisian asylum seeker that claimed 12 lives.
In June, Germany's national police chief said officers foiled a major biological attack with the arrest of a Tunisian man who possessed deadly poison ricin and bomb-making material.
Sief Allah H. started buying the equipment and ingredients to make ricin in mid-May and purchased "a thousand castor seeds and an electric coffee grinder", according to prosecutors.
"Very concrete preparations had been made for an act with a... biological bomb, which is a first for Germany," Holger Muench, head of the Federal Criminal Police Office, told public broadcaster ARD.
Produced by processing castor beans, ricin is 6,000 times more lethal than cyanide and has no known antidote.
The man was thought to be following instructions from the Islamic State group on how to build a bomb using ricin, German news weekly Der Spiegel reported.
He had managed to produce ricin earlier this month but it is still unclear whether he was actively plotting an attack.
Muench said "we became aware of this person a few months ago, and then evidence emerged pointing to links to the so-called Islamic State".
Bild daily said Germany received a tip-off from the CIA based on the suspect's online purchases.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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