• Sweden's news in English
 

Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat

Published: 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
Sweden's golden girl swims to new record
Swedish champion Sarah Sjöström. Photo: AP Photo/Sergei Grits

Sweden's golden girl swims to new record

Sweden's Sarah Sjöström broke the women's 100 metre butterfly world record for the second time in 24 hours to win gold in the final at the world swimming championships on Monday. READ  

Swedish ex-politicians get millions in payouts
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven pictured with his parliamentary colleagues in December 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedish ex-politicians get millions in payouts

The government changeover last autumn has cost the Swedish taxpayer a whopping 147 million kronor ($17 million) in severance payments for politicians and officials, it was revealed on Monday. READ  

Stir over anti-begging ad for tourists in Stockholm
The Sweden Democrats' campaign in the Stockholm underground. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Stir over anti-begging ad for tourists in Stockholm

A controversial anti-begging advertising campaign directed at foreign tourists in Stockholm stirred tense debate in Sweden on Monday. READ  

Breathalyzer blunder goes viral in Sweden
This is not the policeman or the man in the story. Photo: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix

Breathalyzer blunder goes viral in Sweden

A Facebook post by a policeman in western Sweden in which he talks about how he mistakenly asked a passenger instead of the driver to do a breathalyzer test, has gone viral. READ  

Petrol hike marks start of Swedish 'driving season'
Fuel prices are going up in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Persson/Scanpix

Petrol hike marks start of Swedish 'driving season'

Tourists have been enjoying unexpectedly inexpensive road trips in Sweden this summer thanks to falling petrol prices. But the treat turned out to be as short as it was sweet. READ  

Stockholm Pride slams Facebook 'censorship'
Stockholm's Pride Parade. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Stockholm Pride slams Facebook 'censorship'

The organizers of the Stockholm Pride Parade have hit out after Facebook removed a photo posted on the event's official Facebook page showing nipples. READ  

Swedish swimmer smashes butterfly record
Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjöström. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedish swimmer smashes butterfly record

Swedish swimming champion Sarah Sjöström broke the women's 100m butterfly record on Sunday as China’s Sun Yang and America’s Katie Ledecky kept their 400m freestyle titles at the World Championships. READ  

Python on the loose in Malmö – again
This is not the python mentioned in the story. Photo: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Python on the loose in Malmö – again

A 2.5-metre-long python that escaped and was found on a staircase in southern Malmö over the weekend has once again slithered away, police said on Monday. READ  

My Swedish Career
'A whole new world opened up in Sweden'
Fuad Mohamed will be working for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Photo: Private

'A whole new world opened up in Sweden'

Like thousands of others, Somalian refugee Fuad Mohamed came to Sweden in search of a better life. A decade on, the International Relations graduate is planning to return to East Africa to work in development. READ  

Lagercrantz 'born to write Millennium sequel'
David Lagercrantz. Photo: Peter Lydén/TT

Lagercrantz 'born to write Millennium sequel'

David Lagercrantz, commissioned to write the upcoming sequel to the late Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millennium trilogy, wrote in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Sunday that he lived "day and night" with Larsson's characters. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Joyful celebrations at Stockholm's Pride Parade 2015
National
Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say Swedish police
How did a banana help a Swedish man avoid speeding fines?
Gallery
People-watching: July 31st - August 2nd
Technology
Modern mugging: Swedish thieves use smartphone app to rob man
Blog updates

31 July

Editor’s blog, July 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, As the Stockholm Pride Festival kicked off this week, we spoke to the chairman of..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
National
How a century-old Russian sub wreck got Sweden into a frenzy
Gallery
People-watching: July 29th
National
How to become a Swedish woman
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Lifestyle
New snaps of Sweden's baby prince
National
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian submarines?
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
National
Prince Nicolas enjoys first summer
National
Meet the amazing Swedish granny who loves theme parks
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
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

3,327
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se