Teenager planning bomb attack was real threat says security official

Zofia Bichniewicz/PAP

An 18-year-old man arrested for planning a suicide bombing in Poland was not a “disturbed kid,” but somebody determined to carry out a terrorist attack, a senior Polish security official has said.

Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW) arrested the man last month on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack on a state office building with the use of an explosive belt.

The arrest was made on June 16 by officers of the ABW's Wroclaw branch in south-western Poland.

Stanislaw Zaryn, the commissioner for information-space security, speaking to public broadcaster Radio Three, dismissed an anonymous source, quoted by the Onet website, who described the would-be bomber as a "lost and disturbed kid."

"This case was indeed a real threat to our country and we were dealing with a real man who converted to Islam and wanted to wage jihad in Poland," said Zaryn.

He added that the suspect was acting by himself. "At the moment, we're dealing more with a person who acted alone," he said. "His entourage was not involved in the preparations for this attack," he said, but added that the investigation continues.

According to the authorities, the suspect converted to Islam last year, and was inspired by the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

He had collected materials to make a makeshift bomb packed with shrapnel.

The would-be bomber could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison

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