Two arrested in Poland over planned attacks on Muslims

WARSAW: Two members of an “extremist group” suspected of planning bomb and gun attacks on Muslims have been arrested in Poland, the security services announced Wednesday.

Officers arrested the two suspects in Warsaw and in the northwest city of Szczecin, Stanislaw Zaryn, of the country’s internal security service (ABW), told AFP.

They seized chemicals that could have been used to make large quantities of explosives after searching locations in the centre, south and northwest of the country.

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“The arrests are the result of an intelligence-gathering exercise by the ABW about an extremist group whose aim was to terrorise people” of the Muslim faith in Poland, said a statement from the agency.

“These are the first two arrests of members of this group, which was preparing acts of violence in Poland,” Zaryn said.

While he did not name the group involved in this new plot or go into details of what they were planning, he said they had been inspired by attacks carried out by right-wing extremists Anders Breivik and Brenton Tarrant.

Breivik used a truck bomb and then guns to kill 77 people, many of them young people, in Norway in July 2011.

Australian Tarrant killed or wounded dozens of Muslims in an attack on two mosques in New Zealand in March this year.

There are around 20,000 Muslims in Poland, a country of 38 million people, most of them Catholic.

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