Czech police accuse man of plotting Norway-like copycat terrorist attack
Czech authorities say a 29-year-old man suspected of plotting a terrorist bombing was an admirer of Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of killing 77 people in Norway last year.
The man, who hasn’t been identified, was arrested Aug. 10, but the case wasn’t made public until Saturday. Police said he has multiple previous convictions for making illegal explosives, at least one of which was used to blow up a small structure.
The man drew the attention of police by using the nickname “Breivik” in posts on Internet sites, authorities said Saturday, the Prague newspaper Czechia Today reported. When they searched his home in Ostrava, they disarmed a booby trap before discovering firearms, ammunition, gas masks and improvised explosive devices, as well as police uniforms, Ostrava Police Chief Radovan Vojta said.
Police evacuated about 80 people from a block of residences around the building on Aug. 10 without giving any details, the newspaper Ostrava Idnes reported at the time. Neighbors told reporters that they believed the 29-year-old man in the apartment was dangerous.
Investigators said Saturday that now they believed the man was planning to detonate a high-power bomb by remote control. Vojta told Radio Praha that the man was carrying a remote-control detonator when he was arrested and that tests on the presumed bomb showed that it was “functional.”
Tomas Tuhy, head of the regional office of national police, said at a news conference Saturday that investigators believed the man “admires the known murderer Anders Breivik of Norway.”
Breivik is on trial in Norway after having admitted carrying out two attacks in July 2011 that killed 77 people in Oslo and Utoya. He has drawn sympathy from far-right and neo-Nazi groups across Europe, including in the Czech Republic, where he is believed to have visited to buy weapons.