Hungary's counter-terrorism police arrest a suspect plotting Euro 2020 attack

Photo: EPA

Hungarian counter-terrorism police said on Wednesday they had arrested an "Islamist" terror suspect who plotted to attack mass events, including the Euro 2020 football tournament venue in Budapest, news wires reported, citing local media in Budapest. The 21-year-old male was "a completely average young Hungarian" who identified as an Islamist, Janos Hajdu, head of the counter-terrorism police (TEK), told reporters.

The man, a university student in Budapest, communicated on websites containing "explicit jihadist propaganda" linked to the Islamic State about how to carry out attacks, Hajdu said.

"He committed to making a pipe-bomb and using it at a mass event, in Budapest or elsewhere in Hungary ... in the near future," he added. The man had also discussed driving a car into a large group of people.

The suspect was arrested by TEK in Kecskemet 90 kilometres (56 miles) south of Budapest on Tuesday. Earlier Wednesday, a Hungarian court ordered the suspect held in custody.

According to the Magyar Nemzet daily newspaper, the suspect's main target was the Puskas Arena in Budapest, one of 11 venues for the Euro 2020 football tournament that begins on 11 June. Bettina Bagoly, spokesperson for the Budapest Prosecutor's Office that issued the arrest warrant for the suspect, would not confirm to AFP that the stadium was a target.

 

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