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Attempt was made to carry out terror act in Vilnius

BC, Vilnius, 26.06.2020.Print version

An attempt was made last fall to carry out a terror act in Vilnius, prosecutors said on Friday, cites LETA/BNS.

Based on a case handed over to court, a person is charged with an attempt to cause damage to another person's property, intimidate the public, cause threat to the lives of many people and cause major damage to financial companies operating in Lithuania by carrying out a planned terror attack.

The pre-trial investigation was carried by officers from the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau in cooperation with the State Security Department.

The suspect is a Lithuanian man born in 1999. Based on the collected information, the suspect affiliates himself with the far-right extremist group Feuerkrieg Division and is suspected to have produced and kept powerful explosives and explosive materials for terrorist purposes.

The pre-trial investigation was launched on October 6 after a home-made explosive was found at a wall of the building housing international company Western Union and inscriptions "FK IVISION“, "SIEGE" and swastikas were sprayed on the wall using black paint.

A bomb squad from the Lithuanian Anti-Terrorist Operations Unit ARAS was bought in to neutralize the bomb and take it to the Lithuanian police forensic science centre for an analysis. It showed that the bomb contained 6 kilos of explosive materials, wires, a clock mechanism and other elements needs to detonate the bomb. Its explosive power would amount to around 2.5 kilos of TNT.

"The person did not want to be recognized and wore black clothes, rubber gloves, and hid his face under a hood and use other face-masking measures," the police said.

Despite that, the man was detained on October 15 and has remained in custody ever since.

According to law enforcement, Feuerkrieg Division is an international far-right extremist group that has practically been dismantled by law enforcement institutions. It follows Siege, a book by well-known American neo-Nazi James Mason. The book sets out the Nationalism-Socialism ideology, incites to hatred towards sexual minorities, Jews and people of other races.

During the special operation, ARAS officers also found and seized powerful explosive materials ready to be used, as well as chemical substances that could have been used to make a powerful home-made explosive mechanism.

Other items important for the investigation, as well as far-right extremist and Nazi literature and symbols, were seized during searches.

The criminal case was handed over to Vilnius Regional Court on June 17. The man is facing a prison term of up to ten years.

The bomb placed at the building housing international company in Vilnius last October did not go off but it could have caused major damage to the building and injured many people, Rolandas Kiskis, chief of Lithuania's criminal police, says.

The suspect planned to detonate the bomb during daytime with many people in the building. According to Kiskis, the young man, born in 1999, made the bomb with a clock mechanism himself as he gained necessary knowledge during his studies and bought necessary components legally. "It was not an attempt to intimidate. The device had one small drawback and did not go off in time. It had a clock mechanism, yes," Kiskis told BNS.

According to Kiskis, although the suspect affiliates himself with the far-right extremist group Feuerkrieg Division and is suspected to have produced and kept powerful explosives and explosive substances, no evidence has been found that he had any accomplices in Lithuania. "He studied in Vilnius but had already dropped out when he was detained. But he studied at a place where it's possible to gain knowledge about explosives. He was radicalized and supporting radical neo-Nazi movements, was interested in related literature, supporting similar movements in foreign countries, having radical attitudes towards ethnic minorities and the established democratic order. He just wanted to get attention and express his protest in a certain way," the criminal police chief said.

"And it’s a fact that he had contact with people in other countries as one would not think this alone," he said.

Kiskis also said the police in cooperation with the State Security Department and prosecutors took ten days to identify the man through criminal intelligence.

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