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TERRORISM

Two Swedes jailed for plotting Somalia attacks

Two Swedish citizens of Somali origin, members of the Islamist movement al-Shabaab, were sentenced by a Swedish court on Wednesday to four years in jail for "planning terrorist crimes" in Somalia.

Two Swedes jailed for plotting Somalia attacks

“The prosecutor proved that the accused had taken it upon themselves and decided with the Somali islamist militia al-Shabaab to commit terrorist crimes in the form of suicide attacks,” the court said.

Prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström had sought a sentence of three years each for Mohamoud Jama, 22, and Bille Ilias Mohamed, 26, who were arrested in Gothenburg and Stockholm in May and June this year following an investigation by the Swedish security police.

The court said both men are members and sympathisers of al-Shabaab, which has declared allegiance to Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network and controls most of southern and central Somalia.

The two men are suspected of having plotted suicide attacks in Somalia, with the aim of “murder” or “maiming” a large number of people and causing “massive damage to property,” the charge sheet said.

The prosecution based its case on interrogations of the two suspects, witness accounts and a long line of tapped telephone conversations, claimed to have proof the two men had been in contact with al-Shabaab leader Yassin Ismail Ahmed.

The recorded telephone conversations also showed that Mohamed had attended an al-Shabaab training camp in Somalia and that he aimed to “return to Somalia and wanted to become a martyr,” while Jama “was preparing for a future suicide mission,” the charge sheet said.

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BREAKING

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

Prosecutors in Sweden are now treating the murder at the Almedalen political festival as a terror crime, with the country's Säpo security police taking over the investigation.

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”. 

Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland. 

Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly. 

The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence. 

READ ALSO: What do we now know about the Almedalen knife attack? 

“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.” 

Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”. 

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