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Säpo reveals Swedish embassy threats

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09:11 CET+01:00
Sweden's security police, Säpo, has revealed that serious threats were directed at Swedish embassies abroad after the far right group Sweden Democrats published one of the pictures of the prophet Muhammad on its web site.

According to a letter from Säpo, signed by the organisation's boss Klas Bergenstrand, sent to the Chancellor of Justice, a competition run on the Sweden Democrats' site to draw another Muhammad picture was widely reported in the mainstream Middle East media.

The first response to the drawing came in January via the embassy of a Muslim country. On January 31st Sweden's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a meeting with ambassadors from Muslim countries, and just a few days later the Sweden Democrats published the drawing on its web site, reported Göteborgs-Posten.

The reaction was such that Säpo considered there to be a risk that Swedish embassies, agency representatives and other institutions could be exposed to serious criminal attacks. In its letter to the Chancellor of Justice, the security police also stated that Swedes abroad could be in danger.

A Sweden Democrats board member, Adam Marttinen, was in contact with Säpo in February, as was Levonline, the company which hosted the Sweden Democrats' web site.

According to Säpo, the threat against Sweden also included Levonline. In his letter to the Chancellor of Justice, Klas Bergenstrand emphasised that Säpo simply informed the hosting company of its views of the situation. How Levonline responded was up to them.

The company closed the web site, and the Chancellor of Justice is now investigating the legality of that decision.

Adam Marttinen says that he was not given a clear impression of how serious the threat against him and others within the Sweden Democrats was.

He also said that the Säpo official he met tried to convince him to take the picture off the web site, which Säpo denies.

TT/The Local

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