• Sweden edition
 
STOCKHOLM SUICIDE BOMBING
Stockholm attack follows terror warnings

Stockholm attack follows terror warnings

Published: 12 Dec 2010 00:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Dec 2010 00:29 GMT+01:00

The attack in Stockholm on Saturday evening would, if confirmed to be a terror attack, be the first time Sweden has been targeted by a suicide bomber.

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo), raised its threat level to “elevated” in early October, the first time the Swedish authorities have been on such a high level of alert.

The level was raised after Sweden's National Centre for Terrorist Threat Assessment (NCT) said there had been "a shift in activities among certain groups in Sweden, judged to be targeted at Sweden."

Säpo also reported in October that it believed a handful of Swedish residents had travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to attend terrorist training camps.

John Daniels of the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service said at the time that a number of people in Sweden had “the intention and the capacity to carry out attacks agains Swedish targets.”

Until now, though, such warnings have not translated into attacks on the ground. Previously uncovered Sweden-related terror plots have targeted specific individuals or have involved Swedish-based extremists aiming to attack targets abroad.

Swedish artist Lars Vilks has been the target of numerous threats after he portrayed Muhammad, the Muslim prophet, as a dog. American Colleen R. LaRose, also known as ‘JihadJane,’ was charged last year with trying to recruit terrorists to murder him.

Sweden’s military presence in Afghanistan, as part of the Nato-lined ISAF force, has also been put forward as possibly raising the threat to Sweden.

The apparent realisation of the threat against Sweden was a worry, a top Swedish terror expert said on Saturday:

“It’s extremely disconcerting that terror is now indiscriminately targeting civilians in Sweden,” Magnus Ranstorp, a security expert from the Swedish National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan) told Aftonbladet following the blasts, adding that they marked a “break” with previous trends.

He explained that suicide bombers rarely act on their own, but often receive psychological and other types of support from others.

“This individual didn’t act alone,” said Ranstorp.

“Based on my experience, it’s one thing if it’s just a car fire. But to go and put together pipe bombs and sacrifice your life – I’d be very surprised if he didn’t have contact with other individuals.”

Ranstorp cautioned, however, that it was too early to say whether the man who apparently blew himself up in Stockholm on Saturday has ties to any established terrorist networks.

Much of the Swedish anti-terror effort has in recent years been focused on Swedes of Somali descent working for Somalian terror organization al-Shabaab. According to Säpo, the al-Qaeda linked group has recruited more than 20 young people from Sweden to fight in the war-torn African country.

In Wednesday, just days prior to Saturday's blasts, two Swedish citizens of Somali origin who were members of al-Shabaab were sentenced to prison by a Swedish court for "planning terrorist crimes" in Somalia.

In a separate incident, three people arrested in an investigation into an alleged terror plot in Gothenburg in October were released without charge after police decided that the men posed no credible threat.

Despite Saturday's suicide attack, Säpo has no plans to heighten Sweden's threat level, Sveriges Television (SVT) reported.

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Eco-conscious Swedes in hen house trend
Chickens photo: Shutterstock.

Eco-conscious Swedes in hen house trend

Fresh eggs from the hen house at the bottom of the garden is the latest eco-friendly fad being pursued by Swedish urbanites ready to run the risk of a little neighbourhood friction to keep their Saturday pancakes organic. READ () »

Football fan father leaves baby in sweltering car
Parked car photo: Shutterstock.

Football fan father leaves baby in sweltering car

A baby was saved from a car parked in the stifling heat outside of a football stadium in western Sweden on Sunday with the child's father believed to be at the game. READ () »

Police launch probe after Easter ferry smash
A coastguard vessel involved in the rescue operation. Photo: TT

Police launch probe after Easter ferry smash

Stockholm police are investigating criminal negligence in connection with a crash involving a small taxi vessel and a giant Finland-bound ferry on Friday which left three people needing rescue from the icy waters of Stockholm's archipelago. READ () »

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is planning to put vegetarian meatballs on the menu in an attempt to cut down on its carbon footprint, the company has announced. READ () »

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

The Swedish government has proposed scrapping the 25-year span for repaying student loans, by suggesting those who attend higher education should keep paying the money back well into retirement. READ () »

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party has stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Advertisement:
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com