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Swastika vandals target foreign-born car owners

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The vandalized cars in Finspång. Photos: Private
12:44 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: Small town residents in central Sweden have been rattled by a recent attack on cars owned by people with foreign-sounding names: "After seven years on the run, I've started looking over my shoulder again."

"Many now say that you shouldn't walk around alone after 8pm," said Moussa Kasim, who has lived in Finspång for two years. He called the police after he saw the vandalized cars and spray-painted swastikas as he returned from morning prayers at a nearby mosque on Sunday morning. 

"I guess it's against migrants, some sort of 'Sweden for Swedes' logo," Kasim said of the swastikas. "After seven years on the run, finally we felt safe. So this is ironic. I've started looking over my shoulder again."

Kasim said that despite an arson attack on an Arab immigrant's car two months ago and a hit-and-run incident four months earlier residents had not felt threatened, but the latest incident had residents worried about their families' safety.

Local police chief Hanna Sjögren told The Local via SMS that an officer had been selected to steer the investigation, but he was not immediately available for comment. Three cars were targeted in the attack, all registered to owners with foreign-sounding names, the Norrköpings Tidning local newspaper noted.

"It is probably some sort of message for those of us who think the Sweden may become their second motherland, that they'll find peace and prosperity here," said Kasim, which is not his real name. 

He underscored that other Finspång natives had gone out of their way to make him and his family feel welcome in the small town of 20,000 residents in central Sweden. Had it simply been vandalism, Kasim said, he would have not thought much of the incident.

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"I would think it was some drunk chaps who did this," he said. "But the swastika signs left on the cars made me think otherwise."

If the attack were to be deemed politically motivated rather than a drunk prank, it would be the second attack using anti-Semitic messages in Finspång in less than three months. In late January, a woman came home to her Finspång apartment to find an axe wedged in the door, next to a Star of David and a scrawled message "Disappear". 

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