A threat of a terrorist attack during the May 9-25 Ice Hockey World Championship was received from Poland, but the caller was found within 24 hours, Valery Vakulchyk, head of the Committee for State Security (KGB), told reporters in Minsk on Thursday following a meeting of the heads of the state security services of CIS member countries.
‘Together with Russian colleagues, we also contacted the state security agencies of Poland,’ Mr Vakulchyk said. ‘Within a day, all [responsible] persons were identified, including the one who had left this phone message. He was staying in the territory of the EU. We dealt with this incident fairly quickly. And it wasn’t the only incident like that. The system of measures that were in place proved efficient.’
Given that Belarus is a ‘transit country, its state security agencies cooperate with colleagues in the West as well, Mr Vakulchyk said. As for the world hockey championship, a group of officers of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia was present in Minsk during the tournament, he said.
At the same time, Mr Vakulchyk’s statement carries little conviction, former counterintelligence agent Siarhei Aniska told Charter’97. If a criminal case was initiated and suspects were detained in the frames of the case, the story would defenitely have more force, he said. Moreover, although Mr Vakulchuk evaded the issue of nationality of those people who were allegedly involved in the preparation he mentioned Poland in relation to the assumed terrorist act, Mr Aniska emphasized.
Mr Vakulchyk might have used ‘a terroristic threat’ as a trump card to whitewash Belarusian chekists and police officers who achieved notoriety for mass arrests of opposition activists during the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk.
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