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Police officers hit by IED in Budapest

September 27th, 2016

Commentators reject widespread and mutually contradictory conspiracy theories about Saturday’s blast in downtown Budapest in which two police officers on foot patrol were seriously wounded.

Népszabadság calls Hungary ’the land of ten million security experts’ where each and every citizen has his or her perfectly watertight explanation of who was behind the explosion. Some are convinced that it was a trick by the government aimed at mobilising the electorate one week before the anti-quota referendum. Others claim with equal certainty that it was the work of migrant terrorists. In its front page editorial, Népszabadság pokes fun at anti-immigrant security expert and former German police officer Georg Spöttle who went on TV to say that similar devices had been used in ‘Arab, Nigerian and Albanian mafia showdown’ cases as well as by ‘one Syrian perpetrator’. After all this, Népszabadság asks, who will believe the police when it finds out that the prospective assassin is ‘a simple fisherman gone mad’?

On 888, Gellért Oláh also remarks that the internet is swarming with ready-made explanations accusing either the government or Islamist terrorists. He lambasts well known liberal commentator Árpád W. Tóta who posted a note on his Facebook page reminding his readers of an explosion in 1999 in Moscow when then PM Vladimir Putin retaliated against alleged Chechen terrorists by bombing Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. The war resulted in unprecedented popularity for him and he soon became President of Russia.   Oláh likens that allusion to the famous theory about airplanes releasing chemtrails, that is chemicals in order to poison mankind. In an unusual aside for a pro-government author, he writes ’the next competitor is László Bogár’, a regular columnist on Magyar Hírlap who often writes about invisible ’background powers’ whom he suspects of being behind major trends in world politics and history.

In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető attributes the various conspiracy theories to the fear of terror and the impaired sense of security that has crept into the collective mind over the past months and years. He hopes nevertheless that he is not overly naive in not suspecting anyone of ’trying to play the fear card’ in a home political game at the price of spilling human blood.