Native caused train wrecks to fuel anti-Muslim sentiment: Czech prosecutors

Crashes triggered anti-Muslim social media storm

News Desk March 03, 2018
He left leaflets on the site, to evoke that they were written by a fundamentalist PHOTO COURTESY: THE INDEPENDENT

A 70-year-old man allegedly caused two train crashes in the Czech Republic and left Arabic messages to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.

Prosecutors said the pensioner felled trees to sabotage railway tracks near Mlada Boleslav, a small city near Prague. State attorney Marek Bodlak said the defendant left leaflets “containing linguistically garbled threatening texts to evoke that they were written by a fundamentalist”.

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The man, currently on remand, would receive a life sentence if charges against him are proven. He had caused two train collisions in June and July last year. "The accused is a native Czech citizen, motivated by the effort to raise concerns among the population about the Muslim migration wave and the commission of terrorist attacks," Mr Bodlak told Czech newspaper Lidove noviny.

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Police have classified the unnamed man’s operations as a terrorist attack. The Czech Republic’s criminal code says attempts to “seriously intimidate the population” can be classed as such.

Although the train wrecks did not cause any injuries, the collisions provoked an anti-Muslim backlash on social media, Czech news website Britske listy reported.

A high profile anti-Islamic Czech activist, Martin Konvicka reportedly blamed Muslims for the attack. The individual failed to mention the dubious nature of the messages, which had been transliterated into Latin.

This article originally appeared in The Independent.


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