• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Sweden spooks red-faced as 'terrorist' freed
The photo of Moder Mothanna Magid distributed to Swedish police on Wednesday and Thursday. Photo: Police

Sweden spooks red-faced as 'terrorist' freed

The Local · 22 Nov 2015, 11:24

Published: 22 Nov 2015 11:24 GMT+01:00

“He is no longer suspected of any crime,” Sweden's national prosecutor's office said in a press release. 
 
The country's Säpo security police on Wednesday arrested Moder Mothanna Magid in absentia, on suspicion of planning a terror attack on Stockholm. At the same time, they raised the terror threat level to “high” for the first time in the country’s history. 
 
On Thursday evening, when Magid was seized in a raid on the asylum accommodation where he had been staying in Boliden, northern Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven commended the security services for "the speed with which the suspect has been found and arrested”. 
 
On Sunday, Swedish commentators were lambasting Säpo for what looks likely to go down as one of the most embarrassing false alarms in its history.  
 
"A record in incompetence? National alert, press conferences, leaked picture and name. And everything was false!" tweeted Staffan Sonning, Swedish radio's chief economics correspondent. 
 
 
Magid's father Muthanna Majeed, however, said he was overjoyed that his son had been released. 
 
"We have not slept or eaten for three days, but now we are very happy. Thank God!" he said. "This shows that there is justice and democracy in Sweden." 
 
Doubts were already spreading in the Sweden soon after Magid's arrest, after his Facebook profile showed that he had made no efforts whatsoever to hide either his whereabouts or his identity,  despite a highly public national manhunt which saw his photograph published in Sweden's national newspapers. 
 
Deputy chief prosecutor Hans Ihrman, who is leading the investigation, rejected accusations that Säpo had panicked following last week's terror attacks in Paris and Mali. 
 
"I can only underline that the initial information and the evidence which pointed against him, was sufficiently severe that, in any criminal investigation he would be in focus," he said. "It was very concrete information and he was pointed out very clearly. I assume we would have done this with or without what happened in Paris." 
 
He said that since Magid's arrest, analysis of his computer and mobile telephone, together with his own explanation of the incriminating evidence, had convinced police of his innocence.
 
It has, however, not been enough for them to put their investigation to rest. 
 
"There are several circumstances we have to investigate further," he said in his press statement.  "There still remain reason to believe that preparations for a terrorist crime took place". 
Story continues below…
 
Säpo's press chief Sirpa Franzen also dismissed speculation that the arrest was a case of mistaken identity. 
 
"It was not that the wrong person was arrested. There were suspicions that have been completely dismissed, but there remain other unclear circumstances that we are investigating," she told the Expressen newspaper.  
 
Franzen argued that the present high risk of terror attacks meant all security agencies had to constantly assess whether evidence merited actions. 
 
"You are forced to act based on an incomplete picture of the situation, and given the uncertain situation that exists right now, it is likely that Europe and Sweden too must adapt to this type of situation in future," she said. "The police and Säpo will never hesitate to act quickly and resolutely in such a situation." 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Kidnappers with chainsaw abduct man in Stockholm
The scene of the kidnapping in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A man has been arrested after armed kidnappers bundled another man into a van and drove off with him shortly after noon on Friday outside the Bromma Blocks shopping centre in Stockholm.

Border Checks
Commuters to seek damages from Sweden over ID checks
The Öresund bridge. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

The Southern Sweden Chamber of Commerce is collecting commuters' names ahead of an attempt to claim damages from the Swedish state over ID checks in the Öresund region.

Why Swedes are so relaxed about taking gap years
Anna Tybrandt and her friends in Malaysia/Photo: Private

But the French aren't so keen.

Euro 2016
How Iceland made Swedes 'proud to be Nordic'
Fans react in Reykjavic after Iceland defeat England. Photo: Brynjar Gunnarsson

Sweden failed to make it past the group stages at Euro 2016. The fans needed a new team, and now they've got one.

Why this Swedish police dog has been hailed as a hero
Äddie the police dog has finally retired after ten years on the job. Photo: Christer Torlen

A heart-warming Stockholm Police tribute to Äddie the retiring police dog has attracted hundreds of replies and thousands of likes on Facebook.

Five facts on Manchester United-bound Ibrahimovic
Ibrahimovic is on his way to Old Trafford. Here's everything you need to know. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has finally confirmed his next choice of club. Here are five facts on the Swedish striker after he announced he is signing for Manchester United on Thursday.

Swedish state appeals against Roma register ruling
Fred Taikon was one of the eleven victims. Photo: Maja Suslin

A court ruling judged that the Swedish state should pay out compensation to eleven victims of ethnic discrimination, but an appeal has now been launched.

Ikea opens massive museum in Sweden
A scene from the museum in Älmhult. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Flatpack enthusiasts rejoice: Ikea has just opened a 7,000 square metre museum in the building that once housed its original store.

The Local Recipes
How to make a Swedish chicken and strawberry salad
Chicken and strawberry: a better combination than it may seem. Photo: SwedishFood.com

Easy to prepare, this chicken and strawberry salad is the meal you need this weekend, trust us!

Ibrahimovic confirms Manchester United move
Ibrahimovic playing for Sweden at Euro 2016. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/TT

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has put months of speculation over his future to an end by confirming that he will join Manchester United.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
'A Swedish passport means more than a British one now'
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
The Local Voices
The Syrian body-building champion fighting the urge to eat sweets in Sweden
Business & Money
Swedish banknotes expire this week
Blog updates

1 July

Editor’s blog, July 1st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello and welcome to this week’s news round-up. The fall-out from the Brexit vote has come…" READ »

 

28 June

A message for British expats in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. As Prime Minister…" READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: June 29th
Sponsored Article
International students in Stockholm partner with Nepal school
International
Foul-mouthed attack on young Swedish mother in England
Private
The Local Voices
'Having a Middle Eastern name makes life in Sweden hard'
National
Is this Swede the new Vincent van Gogh?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
The humble Swede who sent England home from Euro 2016
Gallery
Property of the week: Torhamn
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Private
The Local Voices
'Sweden is the best place for people with special needs'
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
3,248
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