Chemicals found in German anti-terror raid

A pipe bomb, an assault rifle, ammunition and chemicals that could be used to make explosives have been found in an anti-terror raid near Frankfurt.

The German city's deputy chief prosecutor Stefan Rojczyk said the raid in the town of Oberursel occurred overnight after security officials learned large amounts of a chemical that can be used to make a bomb had been purchased at a hardware shop.

Mr Rojczyk said two people were detained, one of whom is a chemistry student.

He added that authorities are still trying to determine whether those detained were planning to carry out an attack.

The chemical involved was hydrogen peroxide, and authorities said three litres of it had been bought at the shop by someone using a false name.

Mr Rojczyk said: "This hydrogen peroxide triggered an alert. Police figured out who had bought it and it was decided to act fast."

Hesse state interior minister Peter Beuth identified the two suspects as a married couple, saying in state parliament that authorities foiled a possible terrorist attack with the raid, dpa reported. He added the two were believed to have links to the extreme Islamic Salafist movement.

Heavily-armed police wearing masks were involved in the overnight raid, and forensic officers in white suits entered the property and later left with evidence.

Hydrogen peroxide has been used by extremists to build improvised explosive devices in the past, including by "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who tried to detonate a bomb in his shoe during a trans-Atlantic flight.

"Three litres is completely unusual," Mr Rojczyk added. "You can use it to clear algae from your pond, but you can also use it to build bombs."

Mr Rojczyk said a man and a woman were detained in the raid, but he could not confirm reports linking them to Islamic extremism.

"He is a chemistry student," Mr Rojczyk said. "We are of course still trying to determine what was going on. We have the devices, we have the owners of these devices, but now we need to find out what was planned. Everything is being evaluated and this may take some time."

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