Spain parcel-bomb case: Police finds 'bomb workshop' at retiree's home


Madrid: Spanish police have discovered a bomb-making workshop in the home of a 74-year-old man charged with sending letter bombs to six high-profile targets, including the US and Ukrainian embassies, according to a Friday statement by Spain’s Interior Ministry.

Spain’s National Court said earlier it had charged the retiree with six offences for allegedly sending letter bombs to the country’s prime minister and to the US and Ukrainian embassies in Madrid. An employee at the Ukrainian Embassy was slightly injured while handling one of the letters.

An Interior Ministry statement issued as the suspect appeared in court Friday detailed items in the man’s home that indicated meticulous planning had gone into making the letter bombs.

“Inside the house, the investigators found a workshop with tools, welding, metal elements and screws,” the statement said. Preparations were underway “aimed at the manufacture of new devices,” according to the ministry.

The as-yet-unidentified man appeared before a judge in Madrid and was detained without bail, the National Court said. The suspect, referred to only by the initials PGP in court documents, was arrested in the northern city of Miranda de Ebro on Wednesday.

He was charged with the manufacture and use of explosive devices for terrorist purposes, according to court documents. Two of the alleged offences were classified as aggravated since they involved targeting members of the government.

Russia behind the Madrid letter bombs?

Spanish media reported that the suspect had links to Russia, was strongly active on social media and was regarded by authorities as a flight risk.

Earlier the US and European officials, as per a New York Times report, were looking into the possibilities of a far-right militant Russian outfit called the ‘Russian Imperial Movement’, which has close ties with Russian Intelligence, being behind the letter bombs.

However, the Spanish interior ministry hasn’t yet mentioned any possible links between the man and Russia. But the possibility of participation or influence of other people has also not been ruled out.

The six-letter bombs were sent in November and December and required the intervention of bomb-disposal experts. One was destroyed after being dispatched by regular mail to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

US and European officials believed the apparent behind the bombing was to show that Russia could carry out terror strikes in Europe, including the capitals of NATO member states helping Ukraine. Spain has given hundreds of millions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, as well as diplomatic support.

Letters with similar characteristics were sent to Spain’s Defence Ministry, a European Union satellite centre located at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base outside Madrid and an arms factory in north-eastern Spain that makes grenades sent to Ukraine.

An envelope intercepted at the US Embassy’s security screening point in December was destroyed by a bomb squad after a wide area in the centre of Spain’s capital was cordoned off.

With inputs from agencies

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Spain parcel-bomb case: Police finds 'bomb workshop' at retiree's home
Spain parcel-bomb case: Police finds 'bomb workshop' at retiree's home
ASE News
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