Swedish authorities arrested a man on Wednesday who is accused of obstructing an investigation into fires at Jewish institutions in Massachusetts.
A federal federal jury in Boston charged Alexander Giannakakis, 35, with five charges related to falsifying information related to domestic terrorism, concealing records in a federal investigation and manipulating documents and an official proceeding. according to a statementst from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Massachusetts.
Giannakakis was arrested in Sweden at the request of the United States, which now plans to request his extradition so that he can be prosecuted in Boston. Giannakakis is formerly of Quincy, Mass.
The charges against Giannakakis are linked to his younger brother, who became the main suspect in an investigation in February 2020 regarding four fires that were started at Jewish institutions in the Boston area. Countries ignited in two centers in Chabad and a Jewish affiliated company in May 2019.
Giannakaki’s younger brother died after being hospitalized and in a coma.
The US law firm wrote in a statement that Giannakakis must have fled to Sweden with his brother’s electronic devices and papers. He returned to the United States in March 2020 and was contacted by investigators for information about his brother’s connection to the fires.
The American law firm said that Giannakakis allegedly told investigators about a storage unit that his parents had at a nearby facility he had access to. After the authorities searched that facility, they asked Giannakakis about other places his brother may have kept his belongings. Giannakakis reportedly said there were no other locations.
However, the authorities consider the statement to be false. The American law firm said that the night before he made these statements, Giannakakis visited a second storage unit at the same facility that contained items belonging to his older brother. The items included t-shirts with a swastika, a box with the brother’s name on it, the brother’s passport, a notebook that had a swastika drawn inside and a black backpack with 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 U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
The incident then claims that on March 22, 2020, Giannakakis removed his brothers’ belongings from the other storage unit. Later that night, the authorities said that he fled to Sweden. He has not returned to the United States since.
Two of the charges against Giannakakis include up to eight years in prison, three years’ supervised release and a $ 250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The other three charges come with a sentence of up to 20 years in prison each, three years of supervised release and a fine of $ 250,000.
U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in a statement, “International cooperation is crucial to our efforts to bring justice and accountability to our victims here in Massachusetts.”
“Today’s arrest in Stockholm came about as a result of close cooperation with our state, local, federal and international law enforcement partners – especially our Swedish counterpart,” she added.