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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Spanish police arrest man suspected of sending pipe bombs

Spanish police on Wednesday arrested a 74-year-old man suspected of sending packages of homemade bombs in November and December 2022 to 6 addresses. Among the latter are the embassies of Ukraine and the united states in Madrid, the office of the Spanish Prime Minister, the country’s defense ministry, an airbase and an arms company.

All addresses were associated with the provision of Spanish military assistance to Ukraine.

The man was detained in the town of Miranda de Ebro in northern Spain as police searched his home. The suspect is a pensioner and a Spanish citizen, so far only his initials are known: PGP

The Spanish Interior Ministry said the suspect was very tech-savvy and active on social media.

“Although it is assumed that the detainee himself made and sent explosive devices, the police do not rule out the participation or influence of other people in the events,” the Spanish Ministry of Intelligence said. Interior in a press release.

At the same time, the head of Spain’s Interior Ministry, Fernando Grande-Marlasca, declined to comment on reports in the press that there may be a Russian trace in the distribution of explosive devices. “We are working on all possible options,” Grande-Marlaska told reporters.

The Spanish Interior Ministry released a video of the suspect’s arrest.

Video footage shows armed police blocking the entrance to a low-rise building in a working-class neighborhood in the town of Miranda de Ebro, 35 kilometers from Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the autonomous region of the Basque Country.

The suspect’s apartment was on the 3rd floor. According to eyewitnesses, he was at home during the search.

Before his retirement in 2013, the suspect worked for the town hall of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Packages containing explosives were delivered to addresses between November 24 and December 2. As a result of the opening of one of the packages, an employee of the Embassy of Ukraine was slightly injured, the remaining 5 packages were neutralized.

According to the Spanish Interior Ministry on Wednesday, the six packages were sent from the city of Burgos.

In early December, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters that all the packages came from the town of Valladolid, a two-hour drive from Miranda del Ebro.

The New York Times published an article on Sunday claiming that, according to its information, the investigation in Spain was considering a version of the trace of the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), a group supervised by Russian intelligence and associated with the Spanish far right. . organizations.

The Russian Imperial Movement is listed by the State Department on the list of global terrorist organizations.

Spanish officials declined to comment for The New York Times, and a senior source in the country’s justice system denied knowledge of this investigative lead to Reuters.

The 74-year-old pensioner arrested in this case is due to appear in court on Friday.

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