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Polish far-right extremists charged over terror plot on mosque

WARSAW, POLAND – Two alleged Polish right-wing extremists have been charged on suspicion of planning a “terrorist attack” on a mosque, announced a spokesperson for Poland’s Internal Security Agency yesterday.

The suspects, who are accused of “preparing a crime to threaten the life or health of many people or property”, face prison sentences of up to 10 years if convicted.

They were also charged with “public incitement to murder against ethnic and religious groups, possession of explosives and firearms without a permit, and the transport of drugs within the European Union, reports Euronews.

A third individual has been charged with the illegal possession of explosive precursors, which is punishable by up to two years in jail.

According to Stanisław Żaryn, a spokesperson for Poland’s Internal Security Agency, the attack was intended to be carried out with explosives against “a specific religious object of the Islamic community.” Żaryn added that the accused also planned to use poisonous substances in the attack.

The suspects, who were under surveillance at the time of their arrest in November 2019, hold right-wing extremist views and allegedly planned their terror attack to “prevent the Islamisation of Poland”.

One of them made several public calls to “exterminate” Muslims, while the second wrote a manifesto outlining his Islamophobic views, calling for migrants to be hounded by hooligans and intimidated with firearms and explosives

The two Polish extremists were arrested in Warsaw and Szczecin in 2019, following a raid on a Warsaw house the day before the annual Independence Day march in the city, which has become prominent as an opportunity for Polish nationalists to share their frustrations with all things left-of-center.

But despite the fact that far-right extremism and Islamophobia have been on the rise in Poland in recent years, particularly since the arrival of hundreds of thousands of predominantly Muslim migrants into Europe during the height of the migration crisis in 2015, the alleged terror plot remains a relative rarity in the country.

Yet, Poland’s Muslims, who account for only 0.1 percent of the population and include the Tatars, Poland’s indigenous Muslim community, are witnessing the rise of Poland’s far-right with growing distress.

In 2019 alone, three Polish nationals were jailed over far-right extremism and terror charges in the U.K.