Swedish men suspected of nuclear plant sabotage released

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Oskarshamn Nuclear Power Plant.
Image: Daniel Kihlgren.

Two Swedish men that were arrested for being suspected of sabotaging the Oskarshamn Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden, have been released from police custody. Both men were arrested on Wednesday after traces of Acetone Peroxide, or TATP, were found on a plastic bag. TATP is also an organic peroxide which is sometimes used in making household cleaning chemicals.

"Both men have been cooperative but they deny any wrongdoing and waived the right to legal counsel. There was no legal ground to hold them any longer," said Swedish police in a statement to the press. The police also noted that an investigation is ongoing.

The unnamed men, in their 40's and 50's, were arrested after security officials at the plant discovered traces of the explosive substance on a plastic bag inside a bag one of the men was carrying. Both men were contractors hired to do welding work in the plant which is owned and operated by Oskarshamnsverkets Kraftgrupp OKG.

Security detected the material on Wednesday during what was described by CNN as a "routine" security check. Authorities were called to the plant along with the bomb squad, who sealed off parts of the plant. Police believe it was on one of the man's hands when it rubbed off onto the bag, but no bomb was found on the premises after an extensive search.

TATP is "very unstable, very sensitive to both friction and shocks," said Swedish Defense Research Agency expert, Svante Karlsson. A small amount could cause serious damage to someone handling the material which is described as 'Mother of Satan'. Would-be 'shoe bomber' Richard Reid used the substance in an attempt to blow up American Airlines flight 63 from Paris, France to Miami, Florida in 2001. The same substance was also used in the July 2005 bombings in London, England.


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