Poland: Breivik-inspired terrorist attack by antisemitic xenophobe foiled
The Office of the Public Prosecutor of Cracow has announced that Polish police have foiled a planned bomb attack against high representatives of the country. The would-be assassin has been arrested in the southern city of Cracow.
The detained suspect initially denied the charges before ultimately cooperating with authorities. Police found explosives, munitions and weapons in his home. He had also recruited accomplices for the planned attack.
The man allegedly planned to set off strong explosives in front of Parliament when Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski were scheduled to attend a particular session there. Both officials have known about the case for several days.
"The suspect does not belong to any political group or party. He claims he was acting on the basis of antisemitic, nationalist, xenophobic motives," declared Prosecutor Piotr Krasoń. The Associated Press reports that if convicted, the man could face up to five years in prison.
Speaking at an extraordinary press conference held by the Polish counter-intelligence services, Artur Wrona, head of the Office of the Prosecutor in Cracow, said the threat of attack had been real. The would-be assailant was said to have already performed a test explosion and was preparing four tons of explosives for the assassination attempt.
Police found weapons, roughly 1 000 rounds of ammunition, professional pyrotechnic literature, foreign and Polish license plates, military uniforms, a Kevlar bullet-proof vest, and detonators and explosives such as hexogen, penthrite, TNT and gunpowder in the man's home. They also found a schematic of the Parliament building.
The would-be assassin had access to explosives in his role as a scientist at the Agricultural University in Cracow. By all accounts he was a chemistry teacher who took receipt at the school of most of the materials he planned to use.
Police have been following the man since the end of 2011 and arrested him on 9 November 2012. Two other people who collaborated with him also ended up in custody for possessing weapons without permits. Police have also interrogated two more people besides them in connection with the case. Wrona said the investigation was very dynamic and did not rule out the possibility of further arrests. Unofficial information sources say some of the would-be assassin's recruits were also collaborating with counter-intelligence. One of them was evidently an undercover agent.
According to reporting by the TVN24 television station, the would-be assassin considered the option of breaking through the security gate around Parliament and getting as close as possible to the main hall. He allegedly did not rule out the option of a suicide mission.
Polish media outlets are reporting that the would-be assassin was inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who murdered 77 people last August in Oslo and on the island of Utöya. The Polish suspect was also reportedly inspired by the example of the 1995 bomb attack on the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, USA. A total of 168 people perished and 700 were injured during that powerful explosion.
The Bloomberg agency's news server reports that Poland has never had any experience in its contemporary history with this kind of violence. Society there is said to be deeply divided between the promoters of liberal values and those who claim Poland is abandoning its Catholic roots and submitting to foreign influence.
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