Europol asks for help in tracking IKEA blasts suspect

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Europol on Friday asked for help in tracking a suspect in a number of blasts at Ikea furniture stores across Europe earlier this year.

"On behalf of Dutch and Belgian authorities, Europol is appealing for information following blasts at Ikea stores on 30 May, 2011," the European police agency, based in The Hague, said in a statement.

Booby-trapped alarm clocks blew up at Ikea stores in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, prompting the Swedish furniture giant to beef up security across the continent.

"The perpetrator, who is thought to be the same for each attack, placed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) inside IKEA stores before making a quick exit," Europol said.

"The devices then detonated, causing injuries and property damage -- one could have been potentially fatal," it added. So far, nobody has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

The suspect is also linked to explosions in the Czech Republic and Germany using the same methods.

He is described as aged between 35 and 45, slender and about 1.75 metres (5.7 feet) tall. Believed to be of central European origin, he had a tanned skin, fair short hair, stubble and was wearing glasses at the time. He spoke English only.

"The public is now being asked for clues to help confirm the identity of the main suspect," Europol said, adding he "has been filmed by surveillance cameras and two witnesses have also described the offender escaping."

© 2011 AFP

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