Spanish authorities have reportedly grabbed a suspect behind a spate of letter bombs sent to targets including the Ukrainian ambassador and the Spanish prime minister: a 74-year-old man who law enforcement sources described as “lonely” and “strange”. will.
The news, reported by local media El Pais, ABC and La Sexta, comes more than a month after the mysterious packages sparked a wave of panic in Europe when all of Ukraine’s supporters seemed threatened. In addition to an employee of the Ukrainian embassy being injured when one of these devices exploded in Madrid, an air force base handling aid flights to Ukraine and a factory producing grenade launchers for use by the Ukrainian armed forces were also attacked.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón was also the potential recipient of a package of explosives, but authorities intercepted it before it actually reached him.
Now that a suspect is in custody, the motive remains unclear. Police have not yet named their suspect, but local reports describe him as a pensioner with no criminal record who previously worked as a civil servant.
Sources cited by ABC said the man was “very active” on social media and held “pro-Russian” views. However, investigators reportedly believe he was working alone and do not suspect him in other threatening packages being sent to Ukrainian embassies across the European Union, including those containing bloody animal tissue and eyeballs.
Investigators “do not rule out the involvement or influence of others in the events,” El Pais said.
The 74-year-old was arrested in the city of Burgos on Wednesday and now faces terrorism charges.
Earlier this week, the New York Times quoted unnamed US officials as saying Russian military intelligence was suspected in the letter bombing. Officials reportedly believed Moscow enlisted help from the far-right Russian Imperial Movement to ship the explosives and send a message to Europe that Russia could strike anywhere.
However, Spanish investigators were already keeping tabs on their 74-year-old suspect at the time of this report’s publication, and that theory has been ruled out.