Hostage in Stockholm ?belt bomb? drama

There appear to be few clues to the identity of three men who strapped explosives to a hostage before making off with 1.3 million crowns from a Stockholm bureau de change on Wednesday.

Police have been questioning the 25-year old hostage, to try to piece together the events leading up to the robbery. The drama caused a major bomb scare on Wednesday morning on one of Stockholm’s busiest streets, just 100 metres from Konserthuset, the venue for last week’s Nobel Prize ceremony.

The man told police that when he returned home on Tuesday night his girlfriend was there with three unknown men. On Wednesday morning, he says, the men strapped explosives to his body and took him to the Exchange Center bureau de change on Sveavägen, where he works. His girlfriend, aged 37, was left tied up in their home in Tumba, on the outskirts of the capital.

According to DN, the assailants took two boxes of money containing about 1.3 million crowns before fleeing the scene, leaving the man free to take off the bomb and call the police, with help from the bureau’s security guards.

The hostage and his girlfriend were still being questioned by the police on Wednesday evening. Police say that the 25 year-old is not a suspect, and that both he and his girlfriend are shocked but physically unharmed.

Sveriges Radio also reported on Wednesday afternoon that the belt worn by the hostage did not contain explosives.

The scare caused traffic chaos around Sveavägen and Hötorget, one of Stockholm’s busiest shopping and office areas. The area was sealed off, and Hötorget subway station was closed for several hours.

“We have no leads on the assailants,” police spokesman Ulf Göranzon told Svenska Dagbladet, adding that they would “question the employee more thoroughly to get the most detailed picture we can of events.” He added that the guards from the bureau de change would also be questioned.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen, Aftonbladet,


Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.