The Tirana Gazeta Shqiptare reports the following on January 9, 2004:
On 12 December 2003, the day the congress of the party in power began its proceedings, everybody witnessed an unusual event. Unlike the frequent pranks of adolescents, who give false bomb alarms in order to get out of a difficult class, somebody tried and succeeded in placing a clear message: “Do not forget me. Count me in or us in too.” So, the question is about a group of people or more than just a group, who wanted to send a clear message by placing a device close to children, precisely on the day of the Socialist Party Congress.
Yesterday, however, when the incident at the children’s hospital was almost forgotten as well as the intention behind it, a group of people or more than just a group again signaled their presence, this time by placing a chemical bomb containing nervine gas in the center of Tirana. The site chosen was the exact center, the very spot where the monument of former dictator Enver Hoxha once stood.
According to estimates by army experts, the bomb could have caused thousands of victims if it had been activated. Investigators close to these experts said that the person who planted the bomb had been careful to keep the device from exploding in his hands, since it was wrapped in rags in order to absorb shocks.
That person, however, risked being noticed by people or the police with his choice of place # the very center of the capital. Again according to experts, the device is the sort that comes into the country from the international arms trade and is not one that was in the Albanian army depots in 1997. So it could not have been abandoned there without a purpose. And if we add to this observation the previous incident of TNT at the children’s hospital, everything becomes more serious.
This is the first time that somebody, a group of people, or more than just a group, is seriously trying to attract attention with threats of terrorist acts. What remains to be done is to determine whether the threat is connected with the aims of international terrorism or with the various aims of different criminal groups and their interests.