Polish intelligence says thwarted attack on parliament

Poland Attack Thwarte_Kand.jpg.crop_display.jpg

Poland's security services said on Tuesday they had detained a right-wing extremist for plotting a massive car bomb attack on the country's parliament, prime minister and president.

"The man was planning to detonate four tonnes of explosives," prosecutor Mariusz Krason, who is in charge of the case, told journalists in Warsaw.

The man, identified as a 45-year-old chemistry professor at Krakow's University of Agriculture in southern Poland, was arrested November 9.

The case is the first of its kind in the ex-communist European Union country which joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

The suspect was allegedly plotting to detonate the bomb during a parliament session attended by President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

He has no links to political or terror groups, prosecutors said.

He is believed to have been motivated by nationalist, xenophobic anti-Semitic beliefs and was found to be in possession of TNT, gunpowder and other explosives.

The suspect believed "foreign powers exercised power in Poland rather than real Poles," Krason said.
"There was a real danger," Krakow chief prosecutor Artur Wrona added.

"In Norway nobody had imagined they had a Breivik in their midst," he said, referring to mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right fanatic who massacred 77 people in a bombing and shooting frenzy in Norway July last year.

Investigators in Poland uncovered various types of explosives, detonators as well as firearms and ammunition, military helmets, bullet proof vests, license plates and fake drivers licences.

Krason said the suspect had allegedly procured arms in Warsaw and Belgium. The would-be bomber admitted to being inspired by an unidentified third party to create an armed group focused on carrying out the bombing.

Investigators questioned four people in connection with the incident who had been contacted by the chief suspect. Two were detained for illegal arms possession.

"He attempted to create an armed group, recruiting people who were to aid him in carrying out his project. He set out their roles and had carried out a reconnaissance mission around the parliament building during a visit," Krason added.

Prosecutors showed journalists videos made by the suspect as he tested up to 250 kilogrammes (550 pounds) of explosives in various locations in Poland.

He faces up to five years in prison if found guilty of organising an assassination attempt.

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