Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:49 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
BERLIN (AP) — A German court on Thursday convicted a 31-year-old Tunisian man of planning to carry out a ricin attack in the name of the Islamic State group.
The Duesseldorf regional court found Sief Allah H. guilty of manufacturing a biological weapon and preparing an attack, sentencing him to 10 years' imprisonment.
Federal prosecutors accused the man, whose surname wasn't released due to German privacy rules, of buying thousands of castor beans to produce the highly toxic ricin, which he tested on a dwarf hamster. It survived.
The defendant and his 44-year-old wife also bought 250 steel bearings and manufactured explosives before they were arrested at their apartment in Cologne in June 2018.
Prosecutors said their plans for an attack, which could have killed a large number of people, was at an advanced stage.
The defendant had denied planning an attack in Germany, claiming instead that he wanted to practice his skills for when he joined IS.
A verdict in the case against his wife, Yasmin H., is expected soon.