The man, Syed, has remained silent “out of fear”, since the beginning of his trial last week in Berlin, according to his attorney. Syed is accused of examining targets for Iran, in the event of a war with Western nations, as well as  conducting espionage on Iran’s behalf against Germany and France.

Evidence that has been made public shows that Syed collected information on many targets, however, only two were cited because they are public figures. One is German politician Reinhold Robbe of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), who also headed the German-Israeli Society until two years ago. The other is Daniel Rouach, a French-Israeli professor at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris.

Syed compiled a dossier on Robbe that included the politician’s home and work addresses, along with his typical daily movements, that German federal prosecutors displayed. Dossiers like this are helpful in identifying locations suitable for an assassination. The dossier contained Robbe’s travel routes along with other possible routes he could take. 

Syed studied engineering and also worked at the German Aerospace Center in the city of Bremen in northern Germany, according to public data. There is no information how or why Iran recruited Syed, or what type of training he received. Iran has used non-Iranian nationals for intelligence collection in the past.

This case is believed to be the first foreign plot in the post-Cold War era of a German politician being targeted for assassination. It is possible that other plots were never discovered or were abandoned. It demonstrates that Iran is preparing for conflict with the West, despite the nuclear agreement.

The fact that planning for this assassination attempt began before the U.S. presidential election or the current German elections, means this was not an attempt to disrupt the elections.