Police mull terrorist link to Helsinki bombs

Police are investigating a possible extremist link to two bomb scares in Helsinki last week, after the attempted attacks were praised online by a group supporting Islamic jihad.

Aby Suleiman al–Nasser, an influential al-Qaeda blogger, paid tribute to the acts, which occurred in the Finnish capital, on an internet discussion forum.

Police were tipped off by a passer-by on Friday 3rd June about a suspicious-looking canister in the Pasila district. The area was cordoned off, but restrictions were quickly lifted after the home made device was not deemed to be in any danger of immediate explosion. No suspects have so far been detained, but the case is being investigated as attempted sabotage.

The following morning, a petrol bomb was thrown onto the forecourt of a service station in Tapaninvaino. It is not clear whether the two incidents are connected and the police have so far refused to speculate on the second incident.

Speaking to YLE, Finnish Security Police (SUPO) director of communications, Liinu Lehto-Seijavaara, said the organisation would provide assistance if needed, but that the main responsibility for the investigation lies with officers in Pasila. “Naturally, we are employing our own channels. Previously we have not had such threats to civilian targets,” she said.

Pasila police inspector Kari Martikainen said there is so far no evidence that the crimes were linked to extremists, but confirmed that officers are looking to the public and at surveillance footage in an attempt to ascertain what happened.