Polish scientist (45) held over alleged plan to blow up parliament in Warsaw


Poland says it has arrested an academic who planned to assassinate the country’s leaders in a massive car bomb attack on parliament, drawing inspiration from far-right Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik.

Officials said the unnamed 45-year-old scientist acquired explosives, guns and detonators and intended to build a four-tonne car bomb that he would park outside the Warsaw parliament – the Sejm – and trigger remotely when the president, prime minister and deputies were inside.

Prosecutors said the chemistry researcher at Krakow’s agriculture university had expert knowledge of explosives and sought accomplices. Two people were arrested with him. Polish media said the main suspect’s wife had tipped off police. “He claims that he was acting on nationalistic, anti-Semitic and xenophobic motives,” said prosecutor Mariusz Krason.

“He believed the situation in the country is going in the wrong direction, described the people ruling Poland as foreign and said they were not true Poles ... He carried out reconnaissance in the neighbourhood of the Sejm. This building was to be the target ...”

Lessons from Breivik case

Police said the suspect was arrested on November 9th, thanks to analysis of contacts Breivik made and items he bought before killing 77 people in gun and bomb attacks in Oslo last July. Some bomb components used by Breivik were acquired from Poland.

“The would-be bomber did not hide his fascination with Breivik. This should not be ignored,” said Polish prime minister Donald Tusk.

He called the “new and dramatic experience” a warning for Poland, which is sharply divided between supporters of liberals like Mr Tusk and President Bronislaw Komorowski, and deeply Catholic conservatives with a nationalist streak and a suspicion of foreign influence.

This rift in Polish society grew wider after the death of then president Lech Kaczynski and 95 others in a plane crash in Russia in 2010. Many Polish conservatives claim the crash was somehow caused or not properly investigated by Mr Tusk and his government. An official report found pilot error and bad weather to blame.