Poland arrests bomb plotter linked to Norway's Breivik

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:57am EST
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By Dagmara Leszkowicz and Marcin Goettig

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish authorities have arrested a radical nationalist who planned to blow up parliament and had links to the right-wing extremist who murdered dozens of people in Norway last year, they said on Tuesday.

The suspected plot - to detonate a bomb outside parliament when the country's most senior officials were inside - was the first of its kind since Poland threw off Communist rule more than 20 years ago.

It is likely to bring renewed scrutiny on radical right-wing groups inside Poland, which are fiercely opposed to the liberal government, and on the way extremists intent on violence share information with each other across Europe.

"This is a new and dramatic experience," said Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who, according to prosecutors, was one of the intended targets of the assassination plot, along with the president. "This should be a warning."

Prosecutors said the suspect, a 45-year-old scientist who works for a university in the southern city of Krakow, planned to plant four metric tons of explosives in a vehicle outside parliament and detonate it remotely.

The plot had parallels with Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who set off a bomb in Oslo last year and then went on a gun rampage on a nearby island, killing a total of 77 people.

"The would-be bomber did not hide his fascination with Breivik. This should not be ignored," Tusk told a news conference.

The prime minister said that investigators had found practical connections to Breivik too: the Norwegian bought bomb components in Poland, he said, and an analysis of his contacts helped lead Polish intelligence to the suspect.   Continued...

Evidence recovered by police of a planned attack in Warsaw, is pictured in this handout photo distributed by Poland's Prosecutors Office, November 20, 2012. REUTERS/Polish Prosecutors Office/Handout