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Pair detained over ‘potential terror threat’ freed without charge

An Algerian and a Tunisian detained by Polish police during World Youth Day over an alleged “potential terrorist threat” have been released without charge. Ewa Bialik, a spokeswoman for the National Prosecutor’s Office, said on Tuesday that the pair were treated as witnesses during questioning then freed.

Bialik did not reply directly when asked why they had not been charged.

Meanwhile, a 48-year-old Iraqi citizen detained in Łódź, central Poland, shortly before the start of the Roman Catholic Church’s World Youth Day has been arrested for two months.

He is suspected of having “trace amounts” of explosives, which carries a potential penalty of six months to eight years in jail in Poland.

Polish Justice Minister and Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro said on Sunday that the man detained in Łódź was interested in “places that were linked to the pope’s pilgrimage. He wanted to rent an apartment along the [pope’s] route.”

Ziobro said that the suspect had also photographed railway stations and shopping malls, adding: “We are investigating this matter further. We have established his possible links with other people.”

World Youth Day, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, ended on 31 August with a mass at which Pope Francis bid farewell to around two million pilgrims who flocked to the southern Polish city of Kraków.

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