• Sweden edition
 

Father-in-law charged for Al-Qaeda slur

Published: 02 Nov 2007 12:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Nov 2007 12:13 GMT+01:00

A man in southern Sweden has been charged with slander after informing American authorities that his son-in-law had links with Al-Qaeda.

The unsuspecting Lund man was given a terrorist's welcome when he landed at Orlanda International Airport in August last year. A computer technician by trade, he had traveled to the US to participate in a conference.

But no sooner had he arrived at the US airport than he was hauled aside by armed security guards and taken in for questioning where he was grilled about his religious and political beliefs. When the interrogation was over he was thrown into a cell that he claimed was smeared with blood and excrement.

Some eleven hours after the start of his ordeal, the hapless traveler was put on a plane back to Sweden.

When setting out for Orlando, he had clearly not reckoned with the machinations of his scheming father-in-law.

Angered by his daughter's imminent divorce and his son-in-law's decision to attend the conference rather than look after his children, the irate in-law sat down at his computer and wrote an-email to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He gave the FBI his son-in-law's flight details and told them to be on the look-out.

"He has probable connections to the Swedish branch of the Islamic terrorist network Al-Qaeda and is well known for statements encouraging the Muslim world to take revenge for American terror," he wrote, according to local media.

He also informed the FBI that the supposed computer conference was just a cover and that his son-in-law had in fact flown to the US to meet his "contacts".

When the 40-year-old returned to Sweden, he immediately got in touch with the police and set about clearing his name. The Swedish Security Service acquired a copy of the e-mil from the FBI and were able to trace the IP address to the man's father-in-law.

Although he at first denied having set a trap for his son-in-law, he eventually admitted that he had wanted to "give him a good dressing-down".

He also told police that he never really expected the FBI to take his correspondence seriously.

"Surely the authorities aren't that bloody stupid that they believe absolutely everything," he said.

On Thursday the public prosecutor presented the father-in-law with the charges against him.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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