Poland probes supplier of Norwegian terror suspect

AP News
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Posted: Jul 26, 2011 12:26 PM
Poland probes supplier of Norwegian terror suspect

Officials said Tuesday that they have opened an investigation into a Polish chemist after he admitted supplying chemicals that the Norway massacre suspect used in bomb-making.

The Internal Security Agency said on its website that the man faces up to eight years in prison for "unauthorized possession ... and trade in substances that could be potentially dangerous to the life and health of many people."

The agency's deputy head, Pawel Bialek, said Monday that Anders Behring Breivik _ who has confessed to two attacks that killed at least 76 people _ had bought chemical substances from an online vendor in Poland. Bialek stressed that the substances were small in quantity and of marginal importance to Breivik's bomb-making.

Lukasz Mikus _ the owner of the Keten Chemicals online company based in Wroclaw in southwestern Poland _ confirmed to The Associated Press in a phone call Tuesday that he had supplied Breivik with the chemicals, but he said in all their email contact the Norwegian appeared to be a normal businessman.

Mikus said a counterterror squad stormed his home and offices on Sunday and seized his computers. He confirmed an investigation has been opened into if he broke any laws in supplying Breivik.

The agency's statement said it opened the investigation after being contacted by Norwegian special services.

Mikus (MEE-kush) expressed disgust at the terror unleashed by his former client and says he never had any inkling of Breivik's murderous intentions.

"Anders was only my customer but because of that I have a big mess," Mikus told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Wroclaw. "This is horrible for me."

Breivik ordered at least 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of aluminum powder from his company about half a year ago and appeared to be a trade representative from a Norwegian company, Mikus said.

Mikus said that was a "large order" but said there was nothing suspicious about Breivik's request for aluminum powder because that is a component used in a wide range of products _ from fingernail polish to car paint to cement.

"He was an absolutely normal customer with normal questions. There was nothing strange in his emails," said Mikus.

Polish security officials said Breivik obtained two chemical compounds in Poland, but Mikus said he can't remember all the details of their transactions since they occurred half a year ago. He said he also can't check the details now because police have taken his computer files.

He said that he never met Breivik in person or spoke to him by phone.

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Monika Scislowska in Warsaw contributed to this report.