Man jailed after planting explosive device in Edinburgh Princes Street Gardens

todayFebruary 17, 2022 94

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35-year-old Nikolas Karvounakis has been jailed, after planting an explosive in Edinburgh Princes Street Gardens.

The individual, who admitted to being a part of the Mexican eco-terror group, was sentenced to eight years and four months in jail, on Wednesday 14 February. 

On Wednesday, Mr Karvounakis faced Edinburgh High Court and pleaded guilty.

In 2018, the man planted a homemade explosive in Princes Street Gardens, in an attack on a place ‘in support of environmental causes’. The device did not explode, but the risk was substantial.

Lord Braid of Edinburgh Crown Court said that ‘although the device did not detonate, all the component parts for that to happen were present.”

The judge spoke about the intentions behind the attempted attack and the risk posed to the public. However, because of the guilty plea, history of the convict, and the fact that the device did not implode, the 8 year sentence was final.



Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston, Police Scotland’s Head of Counter Terrorism Unit said: 

“The ideological beliefs held by Karvounakis were unusual and based on eco-extremism aligned to an international terror group originating from Mexico known as ITS which had been seen in other European counties, but not previously in Scotland.”

“His reckless actions showed utter disregard for the safety of anyone within Princes Street Gardens on the day in question and there is no doubt his presence and engagement online after the event could have easily encouraged others to carry out similar acts, with potentially catastrophic consequences. Not just in Scotland.”

According to the MI5 Security Service, the terrorist threat level in the UK is currently ‘Substantial’. This means that ‘an attack is likely’. 

Since 2019, the UK threat level has shifted between ‘substantial’ and ‘severe’, showing that terroism is still a risk factor to consider.

The final sentencing of the 35-year-old has resulted from a diligent four year investigation. Police Scotland, alongside UK and EU forces have worked together to conclude the final sentencing. 

Stuart Hustain said in his statement: 

“The continuous collaborative work being undertaken by Police Scotland,  prosecutors and other key partners to keep our communities safe from the threat of terrorism which won’t be tolerated in civilised society.” 

The prosecution has been a long process, but it is a step in the right direction of anti-terrorism in Scotland.

Written by: Heather Davey

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