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Czech Police arrest and charge Breivik sympathizer for planning bomb attack

Ostrava, 19.8.2012 19:05, (ROMEA)
ilustrační foto

Czech Police held a press conference yesterday to announce the arrest of a man from Ostrava who has been accumulating explosives and weapons and evidently planning to use them. Detectives say the man sympathized with Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik and was planning to set off a rather large bomb, according to the investigation conducted thus far. The man had also acquired parts of police uniforms and probably planned to impersonate a police officer during the crime. His previous convictions include one for detonating a bomb.

The man has been charged with reckless endangerment and unauthorized weapons possession. Gabriela Holčáková, spokesperson for the Ostrava Police, told the Czech Press Agency the suspect has been remanded into custody.

Last summer Breivik murdered eight people in a bomb attack in Oslo and then shot 69 people dead who were attending a Social Democratic youth camp on the island of Utöya. The Norwegian mass murderer professes ultra-right ideals and claims to have been acting in self-defense to protect his country from multiculturalism and Muslim immigration. Police deduced the Ostrava suspect's sympathy for Brievik from the fact that the 29-year-old man was using Breivik's name in online communications. Detectives do not yet want to reveal all of the details. "During a search of his home we confiscated computer technology, ammunition, weapons and explosives. We will have more information after we inspect those items," Radovan Vojta, head of the detectives in Ostrava, said in response to a Czech Press Agency inquiry.

Police officers say they arrested the man, whom they describe as very dangerous, on 10 August. They had learned of his cache of explosives and weapons the previous evening and called on the Prague-based Rapid Reaction Unit to join the raid. Officers were concerned that the man's apartment in a prefabricated housing block might be rigged with an aircraft bomb. The suspect was allegedly capable of detonating the bomb remotely, and officers had to arrest him in such a way that he would not be able to do so. Explosives experts were on the scene and police also had mobile phone signals in the area disrupted. The man had the detonator on him when he was apprehended.

"Today we know that the components of the detonator were operational, but they probably would not have worked to detonate the bomb remotely. Our experts are now researching the details," Vojta said. Police officers also confiscated a functioning automatic machine gun, a rather large quantity of ammunition, other weapons and explosives during the house search, as well as the aircraft bomb and other bomb components. They also found parts of police uniforms and a police vehicle light.

The arrested man is had apparently tested the machine gun inside the apartment and tested the effects of the bombs he was producing in isolated areas, further proof of the threat he posed. He has been convicted of committing five felonies in the past, one of which involved detonating a bomb. At the start of July 2010, he placed explosives in a small wooden building at a transfer pump site not far from the highway in Ostrava and remotely detonated them from a nearby overpass. Police apprehended him and a court gave him a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months. That probationary period recently expired.

According to the arrested man's neighbors and the information available about him, he has not ever belonged to any right-wing extremist groups. People from his neighborhood told the Czech Press Agency they considered him an oddball whose hobby was explosives. His frequent lighting of fireworks is said to have bothered those around him.

Detectives do not yet know what the arrested man's precise plans were for the materials they have confiscated. "We are at the beginning of this investigation. We do not know precisely what he might have done, but this person was planning something serious," Vojta said. The investigation will determine whether he was planning a bomb attack or a shooting spree and whether his planned crime was connected to the Norwegian mass murderer.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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