Saturday explosion plays into government’s hands say opposition politicians

September 27, 2016

Police search for evidence at the scene of the explosion. Picture:,

Fidesz MPs and members of the government used Monday morning’s session of parliament to convey the sense that they have a grasp on what happened Saturday night when there was an explosion in central Budapest, reports,

Fidesz MP and interior ministry undersecretary Károly Kontrát said “a street [security] camera clearly shows the suspect.”

The undersecretary said the government would release the photos. He did not specify when, nor did he say when the suspect was identified on the video footage.

According to Kontrát, the investigation into the explosion has revealed that it was an attack against “the police and the Hungarians.” He said the Counter-terrorism Center (TEK), state security services, and the National Protection Service are cooperating to catch the suspect.


Fidesz parliament faction leader Lajos Kósa called the incident “an attack on the security of the Hungarian people.” He said the suspect “attempted to openly execute the two police officers.”

Kósa did not explain how the Hungarian authorities were so certain in their conclusions, but he did call on Hungarians to avoid speculating and repeating conspiracy theories.

The government allowed 20 hours to pass before the national police released a not-so-detailed statement about the explosion.

Opposition lambasts government

MSZP parliamentarian Bertalan Tóth condemned the attack and the “hysteria” behind it. He said he could not understand why it took the police 20 hours to release information.

Csaba Dömötör, an undersecretary with the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office (otherwise known as the propaganda ministry), called on everyone to practice restraint when discussing the attack. According to Dömötör, the left-wing is trying to use the attack for party politics.

We know very little about the explosion

Very little is known about the incident. The government and national police were slow – to say the least – to release information.

Democratic Coalition (DK) politician György Kakuk has accused Fidesz and the government of resorting to the use of violence to drum up support for the October 2 referendum on the EU`s migrant resettlement plan.

With very little coming out of both the Hungarian government and the national police, Hungarians have not been able to rule out that the explosion is not somehow tied to terrorism. The ensuing uncertainty plays to Fidesz’s campaign of fear and uncertainty in the run-up to the referendum.

Parliament’s national security committee convened

According to, national security committee chairman Zsolt Molnár (MSZP) and law enforcement committee chairman Lajos Kósa (Fidesz) held a joint press conference Monday to share details of  their respective committees’ take on the explosion.

Molnár told the press that he is skeptical the explosion was tied to some kind of Islamist terror attack because such attacks are usually followed by a statement from an organization taking responsibility.

Kósa, on the other hand, said that even if a terrorist organization took responsibility for the attack, it would not necessarily mean the attack was similar to the types of Jihadist attack typically seen in Europe and the United States.

While Kósa was eager to dismiss any claims of a motive to the explosion, Molnár said there is no evidence to suggest that the attack had any political or ideological motive.

According to Index, when asked how they know the attack targeted the police, Kósa said, “we don’t know, but that’s how it is.” At that point, Molnár and Kósa reportedly stepped aside to discuss something in private before returning to say that the only thing known for sure is that the suspect wanted to kill people.

Update: 4 pm

The police have finally released footage of the explosion. The 18-minute video clip has been cut down by to show the most relevant scenes: the suspect, and the explosion.