Suspect arrested in Slovakia for spreading hate speech and 3D printed weapons manuals

(Source: Europol)

An investigation by the Slovak National Crime Agency (Národná kriminálna agentúra/NAKA), the Slovak Military Intelligence (Vojenské spravodajstvo), the Slovak Police (Príslušníci / PZ SR), supported by the Czech National Organized Crime Agency (Národní centrála proti organizovanému zločinu/NCOZ), the US FBI, Europol and Eurojust, led to the arrest of a dangerous right-wing extremist. The individual, known in the international far-right cyberspace, is suspected of spreading extremist hate speech and terrorist activities. Linked to groups and individuals spreading neo-Nazi, far-right and white supremacist extremist propaganda, he is part of the so-called Siege extremist movement. This online extremist community is connected online, though simultaneously grounded in ‘offline action’. The followers of the Siege movement share a philosophical and political orientation, as well as a spiritual outlook dominated by hatred and anchored in fascist ideology.

The suspect allegedly published instructions and diagrams for manufacturing improvised cold weapons, home-produced automatic firearms, explosives and mines, and instructions for sabotage attacks. The instructions include the domestic production of automatic firearms manufactured in combination with 3D-printable parts and home-made metal parts. The suspect is currently under custody, awaiting further proceedings. During the raids on 11 May in Slovakia and 23 May in Czechia, law enforcement authorities uncovered a highly sophisticated 3D printer and electronic devices, which are currently under expert examination.

Strong inter-agency cooperation

The Slovak National Crime Agency and the Slovak Military Intelligence Service, both Europol’s partner authorities with competencies to investigate crimes related to right-wing terrorism and violent extremism, cooperated in a unique way to develop the investigation. The Military Intelligence Service detected the suspect through its specialised activities and instigated an intense and successful judicial investigation led by the NAKA. The Czech National Organized Crime Agency strongly supported Slovak colleagues with the operational investigation and evidence gathering.

Europol facilitated the information exchange and provided operational analysis. An Operational Task Force was also established to coordinate the operational activities. Europol’s experts from different units supported the investigations with operational intelligence analysis. On the Action Days, Europol provided support by deploying two experts to Slovakia to cross-check operational information against Europol’s databases and provide links to investigators in the field. Europol also provided technical support for the analysis of the seized electronic devices. Eurojust set up a joint investigation team between Czechia and Slovakia to coordinate the judicial actions.

Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime. We also work with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.

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