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Joint Investigation Leads to Charges, Extradition for Man Alleged to Have Obstructed Investigation of Arsons at Jewish Institutions

A Massachusetts man has been extradited from Stockholm, Sweden to face charges in connection with his alleged obstruction of an investigation into fires set at Jewish institutions in Arlington, Needham and Chelsea in May 2019. 



37, formerly of Quincy, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston in 2019 for making false statements in a matter involving domestic terrorism; falsifying, concealing and covering up a material fact in a matter involving domestic terrorism; concealing records in a federal investigation; tampering with documents and objects; and tampering with an official proceeding. 


In mid February 2022, a Massachusetts State Police Trooper and an FBI Agent traveled to Stockholm to assist the FBI Legal Attache’ and Swedish authorities in arresting GIANNAKAKIS. The Trooper, Agent, and Swedish authorities also executed a federal search warrant on GIANNAKAKIS’ residence.

The investigation was a joint effort by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force; the Massachusetts State Police Fire Marshal’s Unit, Crime Lab, and Anti-Terrorism Unit; the United States Attorney's Office for Massachusetts; Arlington Police; Chelsea Police; Needham Police; Quincy Police; and Swedish law enforcement and national security authorities.

The United States subsequently sought GIANNAKAKIS’ extradition from Sweden to the United States to face charges in Boston. 


After GIANNAKAKIS’ 2022 arrest in Sweden, authorities there learned that he unlawfully possessed a firearm and other weapons in Sweden. GIANNAKAKIS was charged and convicted of those crimes and served a sentence in Swedish prison. On Dec. 4, 2023, near the completion of that jail sentence, the Supreme Court of Sweden ruled favorably on the United States’ extradition request, and on Dec. 21, 2023, the Government of Sweden granted the request for GIANNAKAKIS’ extradition.


GIANNAKAKIS arrived at Boston’s Logan airport on Feb. 2, 2024 and will appear in federal court in Boston on the afternoon of Monday, February 5.


According to the indictment, in and around February 2020, GIANNAKAKIS’ younger brother became the prime suspect in an investigation into four fires set at Jewish-related institutions in the Boston area: the first during the evening of May 11, 2019 at a Chabad Center in Arlington; the second at the same location during the evening of May 16, 2019; the third at a Chabad Center in Needham; and the fourth during the evening of May 26, 2019 at Jewish-affiliated business in Chelsea. 


GIANNAKAKIS’ younger brother was hospitalized in a coma at the time he was identified as a suspect in February 2020. He remained in a coma until his death later that year.


According to the indictment, ALEXANDER GIANNAKAKIS left the United States with his younger brother’s electronic devices and papers and brought them to Sweden, where he was living at the time. According to court documents, when ALEXANDER GIANNAKAKIS returned to the U.S. in March 2020, he was questioned by investigators and made false and misleading statements. Giannakakis allegedly removed and concealed physical evidence being sought by investigators which implicated his brother. Shortly after concealing that evidence, GIANNAKAKIS departed the United States for Sweden. GIANNAKAKIS remained in Sweden until his arrest by authorities in February 2022.


The charges of making false statements in a matter involving domestic terrorism and falsifying, concealing, and covering up a material fact in a matter involving domestic terrorism by trick, scheme, and device each provide for a sentence of up to eight years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charges of concealing records in a federal investigation, tampering with documents and objects, and tampering with an official proceeding each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.


Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Chief Juliann Flaherty of the Arlington Police Department; Chief John Schlittler of the Needham Police Department; and Chief Keith E. Houghton of the Chelsea Police Department made the announcement today. Substantial assistance was provided by Swedish authorities including the Swedish Security Service; the National Security Unit of Sweden’s National Public Prosecution Department; and Sweden’s Ministry of Justice.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance to secure the arrest and extradition.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



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