A tense situation gripped the heart of Warsaw today as a masked man climbed the monument to Smolensk 2010 air disaster at Piłsudski Square, triggering a swift response from law enforcement authorities. The incident unfolded earlier in the day, prompting the city police to initiate a security operation around the square, ultimately leading to the closure of Piłsudski Square and its surrounding areas.
The man, whose identity remains undisclosed, was observed climbing the monument before noon, wearing a hoodie that concealed his face with a scarf or bandana. He carried a backpack and held a plastic bag by his feet. The presence of a potential threat raised concerns, prompting the police to take immediate action. Uniformed officers, counter-terrorism units, and police negotiators swiftly arrived at the scene, deploying a specialized vehicle named Tur.
Skuteczne działania stołecznych negocjatorów, funkcjonariuszy SPKP Warszawa, policjantów @Policja_KSP @PolskaPolicja zakończyły się zatrzymaniem mężczyzny, którego zachowanie wskazywało na realne zagrożenie życia i zdrowia wielu osób. Czynności trwają. pic.twitter.com/U5yiyTLzKv— Policja Warszawa (@Policja_KSP) October 14, 2023
The situation intensified when reports circulated, suggesting that the man might have threatened to detonate an explosive device allegedly contained within his backpack. As a precautionary measure, the decision was made to evacuate the nearby area, ensuring the safety of individuals in the vicinity.
“After negotiations, the man descended from the monument around 1:00 PM,” announced
Inspector Sylwester Marczak, the spokesperson for the Warsaw Police Department, during a press conference following the incident. While he did not directly confirm the alleged threat, he stressed the severity of the situation, indicating that the man could face significant legal consequences due to the substantial police presence and the gravity of the incident.
The police have not disclosed the contents of the man’s backpack, leaving the details of the potential threat undisclosed. Traffic in the area resumed normalcy before 4:00 PM.