Massachusetts man arrested in Sweden, charged in connection with arson investigation at Jewish sites in the Boston area
A former Quincy man has been arrested in Sweden, as the former accuses him in connection with the investigation of four fires that were started at Jewish institutions in the Boston area.
Alexander Giannakakis, 35, was arrested by Swedish authorities in a suburb of Stockholm at the request of the United States
Giannakakis has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston for obstructing the investigation into arson at Jewish sites in Arlington, Needham and Chelsea, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
His younger brother was the main suspect in the investigation of the four fires that had been started at Jewish-related institutions in the Boston area.
“Today’s arrest in Stockholm came as a result of close cooperation with our state, local, federal and international law enforcement partners – especially our Swedish counterparts,” said US lawyer Rachael Rollins in a statement.
“International cooperation is crucial to our efforts to bring justice and responsibility to our victims here in Massachusetts,” she added.
Giannakakis was charged with making false statements in a case involving domestic terrorism; to falsify, conceal and conceal an essential fact in an issue involving domestic terrorism by trick, plan and device; hide records in a federal investigation; manipulation of documents and objects; and manipulation of an official procedure.
The four fires occurred in May 2019: two at a Chabad Center in Arlington, one at a Chabad Center in Needham and one at a Jewish-affiliated company in Chelsea.
Giannakaki’s younger brother was hospitalized and in a coma since November 2019, about six months after the fourth fire. He was in a coma until his death.
Investigators found out that Giannakakis had left the United States with his younger brother’s electronic devices and papers and brought them to Sweden. In March 2020, Giannakakis traveled back to the United States with his brother’s electronics.
When Giannakakis returned to Quincy, he was asked by investigators about his younger brother’s connection to the fires and whether the family had a storage unit. Giannakakis is said to have told investigators that his parents had a storage unit at a nearby storage facility and later admitted that he kept and controlled access to it.
After a search of the storage unit, Giannakakis was asked where his brother could otherwise have stored property. Giannakakis replied that there were no other places.
Giannakakis knew that these statements and actions were intentionally false and misleading, according to FB. During the night before, he had visited both the storeroom and a second storeroom at the same facility – which contained items belonging to his younger brother, including T-shirts with a swastika depicted on the front, a notebook with his brother’s name on it and a swastika drawn inside, and a black backpack containing a bottle of cyanide.
“It is alleged that Giannakakis deliberately lied about the second storage unit and hid it from investigators to prevent them from seizing his brother’s property,” the FBI said.
The United States plans to request his extradition to face charges in Boston.