independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Scientist held over terror plot

The Polish parliament building was the target of a terror bomb plot (AP)

A Polish scientist has been accused of planning to detonate a four-ton car bomb outside the country's parliament while the president, prime minister, and MPs were inside.

Prosecutors said that they arrested the 45-year-old researcher from the University of Agriculture in Krakow on November 9. He had access to chemistry laboratories, and had explosives, munitions and guns.

They say the man, an expert on explosives, was motivated by nationalistic, xenophobic and anti-Semitic ideas, but that he does not formally belong to any political group. He is refusing to be submitted to psychiatric testing..

The suspect, who was not named, was building bombs himself and also had detonators, said prosecutor Mariusz Krason.

"He believed that the current social and political situation in our country is moving in the wrong direction" and that those in positions of power are "foreign," Mr Krason said. "In his opinion they are not true Poles"

One strain of anti-Semitic thinking holds that Jews secretly control power in Poland. In truth, Poland's Jewish community is tiny - several thousand in a country of 38 million - and very few Jews hold political positions in the country.

The rector at the suspect's university, Wlodzimierz Sady, said the man was a chemist who taught courses and did his own research. He did not raise any suspicion until his arrest.

"This is serious, we are all in shock," Mr Sady said.

Police said the man intended to put four tons of explosives in a car and detonate them outside the parliament building in the heart of Warsaw while President Bronislaw Komorowski, Prime Minister Donald Tusk and cabinet ministers were inside, along with the members of the 460-seat lower chamber.

"The threat of an attack was real," said prosecutor Artur Wrona.

Press Association

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