A 31-year-old Islamist has been sentenced to ten years in prison for building a bomb with the biological weapon ricin. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court found the Tunisian Sief Allah H. guilty of producing a biological weapon and preparing a serious crime that could endanger the state. The federal prosecutor had previously requested ten years in prison, the defense lawyers a maximum of eight years.
“For the first time, defendants were on trial in Germany who prepared an attack with a biological weapon,” said the representative of the federal prosecutor. The offender did this in the densely populated Cologne-Chorweiler and near his own children. Allah H. is said to have worked on the bomb with his German wife. The case against her had been severed. The defendant announced a 140-page statement on Thursday. The court accused her defenders of delaying the trial.
Allah H., who had worked as a postman in Tunisia without a school-leaving certificate before coming to Germany in 2016, is said to have sworn allegiance to the IS leader at the time and was guided by IS backers in the construction of the bomb. Previously, he had tried unsuccessfully to come to Syria to participate in jihad.
Together with his wife, he bought thousands of castor seeds and used them to produce the highly toxic castor oil. He is said to have first tried the poison on a hamster and undertaken test explosions in a green area. The couple also procured 250 steel balls and manufactured explosives. Various detonators were under construction when the police struck on June 13, 2018 after a tip from a foreign secret service. Preparations for the attack were well advanced. The cluster bomb should have killed as many people as possible in a closed room.
The Tunisian had admitted bombing, but denied having planned an attack in Germany. He only wanted to acquire skills for his planned time at IS. He is now rejecting all terrorist groups, said the 31-year-old, but said at the same time: “Jihad is not barbaric, it is a duty in Islam.”