Suspected Islamist woman arrested for planting explosive device on Warsaw street

38-year-old Polish suspect holds Islamist extremist sympathies and was found to have photo of Osama bin Laden in her home

A police officer at the scene of an incident in the Polish capital city of Warsaw, October 14, 2023.(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A police officer at the scene of an incident in the Polish capital city of Warsaw, October 14, 2023.(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

WARSAW, Poland — Polish authorities say that they have arrested and pressed charges against a 38-year-old Polish woman with Islamic extremist sympathies who planted an explosive device on a street in central Warsaw earlier this month. There were no injuries.

Police said in a statement published on Monday that the woman placed the device in Warsaw on the night of November 10-11 and then took a train back to her home in western Poland.

Nobody was hurt, but the device had the potential to injure many people, police said.

“The makeshift explosive device filled with gas containers and nails could have caused a serious threat to the health and lives of many people,” the statement said. It added that she was charged with “causing danger and bringing danger to the life and health of many people, as well as preparation for causing such danger.”

Police used CCTV footage to track her movements. After planting the device in Warsaw, she headed to the central train station in the capital and then traveled to the western Polish city of Wroclaw, and was arrested at her home in the nearby town of Strzelin.

Police described the suspect as a Polish woman interested in Middle Eastern affairs, but wouldn’t give any more details about her.

They released a video showing police fingerprinting and handcuffing her and also showed some of the objects they said they found in her home. Among them was an image of former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

“Police officers secured items and gadgets related to Islamic State, as well as items that could have been used to construct another explosive device,” police said.

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