Three pylons hosting relay antennas were damaged by fires during the night of Sunday 17 to Monday 18 May in Seyssinet-Pariset, Jarrie and Herbeys, in Isère, causing in particular disruption of the Bouygues Télécom network. “A large part of the equipment has been damaged”, specifies the operator, who says “Do everything to restart the service as soon as possible”.
These fires were committed “By one or more teams of criminals (…) in the same time slot and in the same operating mode “, according to the attorney of the Republic of Grenoble, Eric Vaillant. These attacks were not claimed, but “Taking into account the local precedents”, the magistrate favors the track of “The anarcho-libertarian ultra-left”, very active in the Grenoble region.
Eric Vaillant believes, however, that an act “Conspirators”, who accuse this type of facility of spreading the coronavirus “Cannot be excluded”. Attacks of this nature have notably been noted in the United Kingdom.
Particularly numerous degradations in Isère
Voluntary degradations of relay antennas, but also of technical fiber optic premises, have been reported in several departments in recent months. But it was in the Grenoble region that these degradations were most numerous; on March 29, the technical room of an SFR antenna was set on fire in Chatte; a relay antenna was degraded in Estrablin on April 13; in Saint-Marcellin, another technical room linked to an antenna was burnt down on April 30.
None of these fires have been claimed, but they have been extensively commented on sites affiliated with the ultra-left, on which calls have circulated since mid-March. “Reconnect with direct action”, and a document explaining how to burn down an antenna.
But in at least one fire the ultra-left is no longer suspected. In Estrablin, a village in the north of the Isère department, a relay antenna of the operator Orange was burnt down twice during the confinement. The alleged perpetrator confessed: he is an unemployed, alcoholic and suicidal man, who wanted to destroy an antenna – which he thought belonged to the gendarmerie – in order to take revenge on a gendarme who allegedly shoved him during an intervention at his home.