Bombing Suspect Arrested in Styria

Authorities have apprehended the prime suspect behind a series of bombings targeting Jehovah’s Witnesses in Styria. Following an extensive police operation on Wednesday, the individual, who had been evading capture for months, was finally brought into custody, where he reportedly confessed to his crimes.

The 55-year-old former member of Jehovah’s Witnesses is believed to have orchestrated a string of explosive attacks since the summer of 2023, targeting both properties and vehicles associated with the religious community. While some of the devices detonated, fortunately, there were no casualties reported.

According to authorities, the suspect, identified as an IT technician from the Graz-Umgebung district, harbored intentions to harm his ex-wife, who is a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Investigators revealed that he had strategically planted pipe bombs on vehicles belonging to other members of the community as a diversionary tactic.

The escalation of the attacks culminated in a bomb scare during Easter 2024, when a highly volatile device was discovered outside the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ premises in Kalsdorf. Fortunately, this bomb failed to detonate, but another explosion occurred on a vehicle in Zettling, underscoring the severity of the situation.

During interrogation, the suspect confessed to placing yet another explosive device on his ex-wife’s car, further corroborating his motive of targeting her. However, a subsequent search of the vehicle yielded only a magnet used to mount the bomb, raising concerns about the whereabouts of the explosive device.

The suspect attributed his actions to a longstanding dispute with his ex-wife, with whom he shares two children. Despite being estranged for over a decade, he expressed a desire to harm her, viewing the other bombings as a means of diversion.

The arrest of the suspect, orchestrated after intensified suspicions on Wednesday morning, was met with relief by the Jehovah’s Witnesses community. Markus Kakavis, a spokesperson for the religious group, expressed gratitude for the authorities’ swift action, emphasizing the importance of maintaining security measures to safeguard their members.

Interior Minister Gerhard Karner commended the efforts of law enforcement in thwarting further potential attacks, underscoring the gravity of the situation and the need for vigilant measures to protect public safety.

Since August 2023, Styrian authorities have been on high alert following a series of bombings targeting Jehovah’s Witnesses. With the arrest of the prime suspect, authorities hope to bring an end to the reign of terror that has gripped the community, ensuring a safer environment for all residents.