The intervention unit of Hungary’s Counter Terrorism Center (TEK) took a 21-year-old Hungarian convert to Islam in custody on Tuesday after he planned to bomb Puskás Stadium, the venue of the June Football European Championship, daily Magyar Nemzet writes.
According to a statement issued by the Budapest Prosecutors’ Office, which arrested the man on Wednesday and charged him with preparations for terrorist attacks, the young man — a resident in the central Hungarian town of Kecskemét — planned to use pipe bombs at the Puskás stadium and also wanted to ram a vehicle into the holiday crowd at Lake Balaton.
TEK commander Lt Gen János Hajdú said at a press conference that TEK’s relevant directorate has been investigating the matter for weeks after a young Hungarian man took part in the talks on websites linked to the Islamic State, which can only be accessed using a strictly guarded method.
The content of the dialogue on the dark web was about preparing for a terrorist attack with people who profess hostile ideology, “specifically jihadist propaganda”. The young man was learning how to make a pipe bomb and use it at a mass event in Budapest or Hungary.
The conversation also included information about so-called ramming attacks, that is, attacks that drive a car into the crowd, and the young man firmly stated that he wanted to do so. He didn’t plan either one or the other type of attack, but both, Hajdú said, adding that the information gathered so far was sufficient to hand over the case to the prosecutor’s office.
Hungary last experienced a bomb attack in September 2014 when a pipe bomb went off in downtown Budapest, severely injuring two police officers and causing minor injuries to a cab driver. Police took him into custody one month later, and he is currently serving a life sentence with parole possibility after 30 years.
Title image: Islamist man arrested by Counter Terrorism Center (TEK) unit. (source: TEK)