Police search for terror accomplices

Swedish security police and prosecutors are investigating whether a Swede arrested in Sarajevo last month on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack had accomplices, Dagens Nyheter reported on Saturday.

Mirsad Bektasevic, an 18-year-old Swedish citizen originally from Serbia-Montenegro, was arrested along with a Danish citizen of Turkish origin on October 20, suspected of planning an attack.

“One of the reasons I have launched a preliminary investigation is that he is so young. It is not unreasonable to suspect that someone (in Sweden) has had influence over him,” chief international prosecutor for Stockholm Tomas Lindstrand told DN.

Large quantities of explosives and weapons were found during a raid of the Swede’s Sarajevo apartment, as well as e-mail correspondence with several of seven people since arrested in Denmark, also on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks.

Recent news reports have also indicated that Bektasevic may be a so-called recruiter who used the Internet nom-de-guerre “Maximus” in his search for disaffected European youth willing to go to Iraq to join the insurgency.

Lindstrand refused to comment on whether the Swede was in fact Maximus. He also declined to say if the investigation was focusing on any specific suspects in Sweden.

Bektasevic’s mother meanwhile told Dagens Nyheter that she was certain her son had been corrupted by “terrorists”, who convinced him to join a mosque in the southwestern Swedish city of Gothenburg.

“He went there to pray. The ones who led him astray are terrorists,” she said.

Mosque board member Mohammed Mohsin however insisted that Bektasevic was not known there.

“We do not know (him) and have not met him,” he told the paper, insisting that the mosque “has nothing to do with terrorism”.