• Sweden edition
 
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
Säpo's head offices. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat

Published: 13 Aug 2014 16:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Aug 2014 16:35 GMT+02:00

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) has received a number of worried calls since a video clip from an Arabic talk-show programme started making the rounds online.

On a recent episode of the popular Arabic talk-show programme Su’al Jari (Bold Questions), a man called in from Sweden and proceeded to threaten the country with extreme violence. (See video below, with Swedish subtitles).

"Until the day we die, we will engage in war against Sweden and Europe," the man said.

Swedish Security Police (Säpo) spokeswoman Sirpa Franzén said that the reactions from Swedes had been strong. 

"Many people are upset since the video and other information is being spread online in connection to the situation in Syria," she told newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

The caller, identified in the show as Sheikh Ahmed, said he was a member of the jihadist group IS (Islamic State, previously ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and began making references to the Koran, saying that god had given Muslims instructions to kill non-believers.

The talk show is hosted by Rashid Hmami, a Moroccan who converted from Islam to Christianity when he was 19. Hmami proceeded to grill the caller about verses of the Koran and his methods of enforcing his religion.

"So why do you live in Sweden? Why do you live in a land of unbelievers? You know that it is haram, forbidden for Muslims," Hmami pressed. 
 
"The Islam country is God's country which is the entire world," Ahmed responded. 
 
"And you receive benefits from Sweden. You take advantage of the state and its welfare and money."
 
"No. It is not their money," the caller said. "The money can only come from god."
 
The conversation developed into a debate about god's tasks and the concept of mercy and forbearance, with the caller claiming that it was god's command to kill non-believers in order to save his own people from doubt.
 
"Is what ISIS doing to non-believers today simply mercy?"
 
"The purpose of Isis is to eradicate them," the caller asserted.

Franzén at Säpo said that the agency takes all threats seriously, adding that the agency is already working on investigating the matter.

 
Linus Gustafsson at the Swedish National Defence College said the probable investigation would determine whether the caller is indeed a threat.

"And it will determine whether he actually has the capability to turn this threat into a reality," he told The Local. 

Gustafsson added that there were 80 confirmed Swedes fighting in Syria and that this particular threat should be taken seriously. 
 
Most of the radical Islamists in Sweden, he said, were second-generation immigrants, but that doesn't mean the problem stems from immigration, rather the glaring lack of prevention programmes and exit strategies. 
 
"Sweden is lacking effective measures to prevent individuals from becoming radicalized, and becoming a threat when they arrive in Sweden," Gustafsson explained.
 
The researcher stressed that reforms are needed to prevent not just Islamist extremism, but extremism in general. 
 
A few years ago Exit Fryshuset, a non-profit organization offering support for those wishing to leave racist and Nazi movements, opened in Stockholm. Gustafsson said that Sweden needed many more such institutions and a stronger focus on prevention.
 
"Many other states in Europe have prevention programmes and exit strategies," Gustafsson said.
 
"It can be done in several ways, but the most common is to create an organization with psychologists, social services, security services, and community police who will establish a relationship with the person and offer counselling and mentoring to get back into society."
 
He added that Sweden is seeing an increase in "the populist right and the right-wing propagandists taking advantage of every Islamist threat". Indeed, Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson made headlines earlier this month for stating that "Islamism is the Nazism of our time". 
 
 
In July, Sweden appointed its first-ever official coordinator against violent extremism, former Social Democrat party leader Mona Sahlin. Gustafsson said that the appointment was both a welcome initiative and a critical step in the right direction.
 
Sahlin's new tasks will include improving cooperation between agencies, cities, and organizations on a all levels of society to prevent and address violent extremism. 
 
"We are far behind compared with other European states when it comes to prevention," Gustafsson told The Local.
 
"While the problem is being discussed in some municipalities and in the cabinet offices, we haven't seen any measures on the local levels yet, and that's what really counts. It doesn't matter if you have a good strategy if you don't implement it."
 
Solveig Rundquist
Follow Solveig on Twitter

For more stories about Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
National
Fears schoolboy murdered in Sweden
Photo: TT

Fears schoolboy murdered in Sweden

Police in Halmstad say the results of forensic tests suggest a 16-year-old boy found dead in a creek was murdered. READ  

National
Elk hunters risk injury in Sweden’s woods
Hunter Ingela Olsson loads her rifle at sunrise in Norrbölla, northern Sweden. File photo: Gunnar Lundmark/SvD/Scanpix

Elk hunters risk injury in Sweden’s woods

Sweden’s vast annual elk hunt spells danger not just for the majestic animals but also for hunters, with crumbling towers and over-tiredness just two of the season’s perils. READ  

Malmö
Rat invasion closes Malmö preschool
Rats like this one have been found in a kindergarten. Photo: TT

Rat invasion closes Malmö preschool

Children in central Malmö are staying at home on Tuesday after a rat infestation was discovered at their kindergarten. READ  

National
Sweden's benefit agency site restored
Photo: TT

Sweden's benefit agency site restored

UPDATED: Sweden's Social Insurance Agency website is working again after being out of action since Monday. READ  

Presented by West Sweden
Live Blog: West Coast lobster season begins
The catch of the day. Photo: The Local/Oliver Gee

Live Blog: West Coast lobster season begins

The Local's Oliver Gee reports live as he joins fishermen on Sweden's west coast seeking the first lobster catch of 2014. READ  

National
Swedish teenagers abused on Secret app
File photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix

Swedish teenagers abused on Secret app

Swedish police are struggling to know what to do with a new batch of criminal reports filed by teenagers upset about a controversial app that allows users to post comments and pictures anonymously. READ  

National
Swedish man beats bus in video challenge

Swedish man beats bus in video challenge

UPDATED: A Swedish runner who filmed himself beating his bus in Sundbyberg in north west Stockholm over the weekend is now planning to a similar challenge on the capital's Metro system. READ  

Regional
Rain causes power cuts across east Sweden
Strong winds are battering Stockholm and the east coast of Sweden. Photo: TT

Rain causes power cuts across east Sweden

Heavy rain and wind have left thousands without electricity in eastern Sweden, with ferries also disrupted by the storm. READ  

Elections 2014
Budget headache for new coalition partners
Social Democrat economic spokesperson Magdalena Andersson with Per Bo from the Green Party. Photo: TT

Budget headache for new coalition partners

UPDATED: The Social Democrats have been holding talks with the Green party to try and agree on a future coalition budget. But questions remain over how they will work together on issues including defence and nuclear power. READ  

National
US runaway banned from name change in Sweden
'Wanted' photograph of David Hemler used by US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Hemler lives and works in Uppsala. Photo: Shutterstock

US runaway banned from name change in Sweden

A US airman who deserted from the military three decades ago and moved to Sweden has failed in his bid to get his old name back, because a Swedish court says he can’t prove his identity. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week - Torslanda
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: September 20th
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Blog updates

22 September

Welcome National Geographic! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What comes to mind when you think of the “The Arctic”? Crystal-encased cliffs jutting from the sea, baronial Polar bears scavenging over sheets of cracked ice or a lone explorer heading north into the night. The image my mind invokes is of three sparkling green lines splashed across the sky like graffiti— the Aurora Borealis— our..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

848
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
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN