SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

One person detained on terror charges in western Sweden following police raids

One person has been detained on terror charges following several raids in western Sweden.

One person detained on terror charges in western Sweden following police raids
A police car outside a house in a Gothenburg suburb on Thursday morning. Photo: Jonas Dagson / TT

Sweden's security police Säpo carried out the raids in coordination with the national police and National Operations Department (NOA) across multiple locations on Thursday morning, including the Lilla Edet and Ale municipalities in Västra Götaland.

The man, who is 22 years old and stateless according to court documents seen by The Local, is being held on suspicion of preparation or conspiracy to commit a terrorist crime, as well as aggravated weapons crimes. By Friday morning, he was still in police custody and no further suspects had been detained.

His lawyer said that the man denied the charges, but could not comment any further.

FOR MEMBERS: The Local interviews Sweden's leading terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp

According to Säpo, the criminal preparations had been ongoing for some time.

“We can see that there are links to international terrorism, but at the moment we can't say which countries,” said Säpo press secretary Sofia Hellqvist.

Hellqvist also declined to comment on any times or locations for the suspected crime, for example if it related to Sweden or another country.

Sweden's national terror threat level remains unchanged at three on a five-point scale.

In November, the UK raised its own assessment of the threat level in Sweden, reflecting what it referred to as an “increased threat” of terrorist attacks.

When asked by the TT newswire if this had any connection to this week's operation, Säpo's Hellqvist said: “We cannot comment on what other countries do with their warnings. But we don't see any connections at this time.”

READ ALSO: UK warns of 'increased' terror threat in Sweden

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

SHOW COMMENTS