• 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

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
Swede Stenson defends DP World Tour title
Photo: TT/AP

Swede Stenson defends DP World Tour title

Sweden's Henrik Stenson made two birdies on the final two holes to successfully defended his title at the $8 million DP World Tour Championship on Sunday by two shots. READ  

Up to 300 Swedes fighting with Isis: report
Photo: TT

Up to 300 Swedes fighting with Isis: report

As many as 300 Swedes could have joined the Islamic State insurgency, Sweden's intelligence chief said Saturday. READ  

Swede Stenson on track for Dubai defence
Photo: TT

Swede Stenson on track for Dubai defence

Swedish world number four Henrik Stenson is on course to successfully defend his title at the DP World Tour Championship, the red-hot Rafael Cabrera-Bello may still pose a threat after Saturday's third round. READ  

Stolen ancient gold rings returned by post
A Swedish postman. Photo: TT

Stolen ancient gold rings returned by post

A collection of gold rings which date back some 3,000 years mysteriously turned up at the offices of a Swedish newspaper after they had gone missing from a museum collection years ago. READ  

Body of Irishman found in Stockholm
Stockholm's Old Town in the rain. Photo: TT

Body of Irishman found in Stockholm

The body of an Irishman who had been missing since November 10th was found in the harbour by Stockholm's Old Town on Thursday, it has emerged. READ  

Ibrahimovic returns as PSG claim top spot
Photo: TT

Ibrahimovic returns as PSG claim top spot

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his first start for two months as Ligue 1 Champions Paris Saint-Germain went top for the first time this season with a 3-2 win at mid-table Metz on Friday night READ  

Julian Assange
Ecuador 'guarantees' Assange asylum
Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. Screen grab: SVT

Ecuador 'guarantees' Assange asylum

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was on Friday guaranteed political asylum by Ecuador for "as long as necessary," one day after he lost an appeal against a Swedish warrant for his arrest. READ  

Abba's Björn defends Sweden's Spotify
Swedish artist Laleh alongside Björn Ulvaeus. Photo: Björn Ulvaeus

Abba's Björn defends Sweden's Spotify

Björn Ulvaeus has joined the row over Spotify's streaming costs, saying the music industry had to evolve but admitting that songwriters are losing money. He spoke to The Local's blogger Natalia Brzezinski from his newly adopted home, New York. READ  

Dark weekend looms for southern Sweden
Stockholm City Hall under the cover of clouds. Photo: TT

Dark weekend looms for southern Sweden

Southern Sweden looks set to stay under a blanket of cloud until at least Tuesday, as the darkest November in decades continues. READ  

Gothenburg rabbi reacts to death threats
Rabbi Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraëli. Photo: Private

Gothenburg rabbi reacts to death threats

Gothenburg's rabbi received death threats following an attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem earlier this week. Leading figures in the Jewish community have told The Local they fear that anti-Semitism is spreading across Sweden, with Malmö already a key target. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
What's on in Sweden: November 20th to 27th
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish mulled wine
Lifestyle
How an Umeå museum is rewriting Swedish history
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Blog updates

21 November

Editor’s Blog, November 21st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello from Stockholm, Our week started with reports another Russian plane had been spotted in Sweden’s airspace,..." READ »

 

21 November

Exclusive Interview with Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"Most of us will agree that actions speak louder than words. But when the two are..." READ »

 
 
 
Lifestyle
Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm
National
How to boost your career in Skåne, Sweden's south
National
Bones show off Sweden's history
National
What new word are Swedes voting on?
National
Why African Swedes are angry about Santa's helper
National
Pine, tar, and tinder: flavours from the north
Gallery
Selfies, solidarity and Hillary Clinton: Stefan Löfven on tour
Gallery
People-watching: November 19th
Society
Why are international professionals leaving Sweden?
Business & Money
Meet the Swedes who made suits for The Hunger Games
Technology
'I'm among the first Swedes with a microchip'
National
What is Sweden doing about bird flu?
Gallery
Property of the week: Eriksberg
National
Vecka45: Sweden's most innovative week
Gallery
In Pictures: The clubs and loves of Sweden's Sven-Göran Eriksson
Society
What's On in Sweden: November 13th to 20th
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
National
Driving (expats) home for Christmas?
Lifestyle
Make your own Swedish pea soup
Politics
"Totally unacceptable": Defence Minister on Stockholm submarine
Society
The A-Ö guide to making life in Sweden easier
National
How a Swedish party inspired a masterpiece
National
Seen the new Ace of Base yet?
National
Meet the Irish woman thundering into Swedish rock
Gallery
In Pictures: Ace of Base through the years
Society
Ten things you should never say to a Swede
Gallery
People-watching: November 12th
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
National
Opinion: 'We have to talk about Sweden's Isis fighters'
Business & Money
Price hike for new mortgages in Sweden
National
Toy store catalogues 'too white' in Sweden
National
Pirate Bay co-founder released from prison
National
Southern Sweden had 201 days of summer
Gallery
Sweden's ten most powerful people
Gallery
Property of the week: Mariestad
National
Introducing... Healthcare in Stockholm
National
What you need to know about Stockholm hospital bug epidemic
Lifestyle
Young Serbian shouts for students in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to make your own chocolate kladdkaka
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
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

823
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:
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:
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
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists
Click here for the full job description