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Borg in verbal row with aggressive civilian

A government driver was forced to intervene when Swedish finance minister Anders Borg was approached by an aggressive man while waiting for a car in the garage of the government offices in central Stockholm.

Borg in verbal row with aggressive civilian

According to the Aftonbladet newspaper, Borg entered the garage unaccompanied by body guards to meet a car he had ordered from the government’s motor pool to take him to a meeting.

Upon entering the garage, which is connected to a loading dock and thus accessible to the general public, an unknown man on his way to deliver a package rushed up to Borg and began shouting at him.

“The man was directed to the receiving dock in one of the garages at the government offices. At the same time finance minister Anders Borg passed by the same spot,” said Säpo spokesperson Patrik Peter to the TT news agency.

“At that point the man began yelling at the finance minister, but there was no physical altercation.”

A Säpo driver, who was not formally employed as a bodyguard but is considered part of the agency’s personal protection force, also intervened in order to keep the man away from Borg.

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo), which supplies body guards to government ministers, is reviewing the incident, which took place several days ago.

“We’ve assessed the incident and changed our routines. What happened won’t happen again,” Peter told Aftonbladet.

Commenting on Wednesday to the TT news agency after reports of the incident emerged in the Swedish media, Borg attempted to downplay the confrontation saying he thought the man simply wanted to “say what he thought about the work we are doing”.

When asked about whether or not he thought the matter revealed any gaps in security procedures, Borg said it was up to Säpo to comment on their working methods.

“We live in an open democracy where citizens should be able to get close to their politicians; I think that has enormous value, so I don’t think that we should make this into a big deal,” he told TT.

Nevertheless, the government offices have revised procedures so that letters and packages are no longer handed over in the building’s garage.

“It was a serious incident and procedures have probably not been the best, so we think it’s a valid assessment,” said Peter.

The man who approached Borg has not been charged with any crime.

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ISLAM

Prominent Muslim head of free school seized by security police

The chief executive of a largely Muslim free school in Gothenburg has been placed in custody by the Swedish Migration Agency on the orders of the country's Säpo security police. It follows the arrests of other Imams in recent months.

Prominent Muslim head of free school seized by security police
He was seized on Wednesday and taken to an immigration detention centre in the city, Sweden's Expressen newspaper reported on Thursday
 
Abdel-Nasser el Nadi, chief executive of Vetenskapsskolan, is the fifth senior member of Sweden's Muslim community to be placed in custody in less than a month. 
 
Three prominent imams are now in custody: Abo Raad, imam of a mosque in Gävle, Hussein Al-Jibury, imam of a mosque in Umeå, and Fekri Hamad, imam of a mosque in Västerås. Raad's son is also being held. 
 
 
Sven-Erik Berg, the school's headmaster, told The Local that he had no idea what was behind the arrest. 
 
“We don't know anything. I don't know anything more than you,” he said. “We are doing nothing, but the school is naturally maintaining a dialogue with the Swedish School Inspectorate and their lawyers.” 
 
He said it was inaccurate to describe the school as a 'Muslim school' as it has no official confessional status. 
 
“The chief executive is a central person among Swedish Muslims, so naturally the group of people we recruit from are often those who have a relation to Islam or Sweden's Islamic associations,” he said. “But the school does not go around telling children what they should or shouldn't believe.”
 
On its website the school declares: “At our school everyone is treated equally irrespective of gender, religion, ethnic background, appearance, opinions, or abilities”. 
 
“We are one of the best schools in Gothenburg. You just have to look at the statistics,” Berg added.  
 
A spokesman for Säpo told Expressen that he could not comment on any of the five cases or on whether they were in some way linked. 
 
But according to the Swedish news site Doku, which investigates Islamic extremists, Säpo is probing whether el Nadi has any links to a network of Islamic militants.
 
In an article published last October, the site alleged that El Nadi's activism was part of the reason that so many young men from Gothenburg had travelled to fight for the terror group Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. 
 
El-Nadi was previously the school's headmaster, and the school was in 2018 criticised by the Swedish School Inspectorate for not sufficiently promoting equality between girls and boys.
 
When he was interviewed by Dagens Nyheter a year ago, he asserted his loyalty to Sweden. 
 
“I have five children, all of whom were born in Sweden, a big family, and I want to protect this society in the same way that I have protected my children,” he said.  
 
El-Nadi was born in Egypt but has lived in Sweden since 1992. He has twice applied to become a Swedish citizen, in 2007 and 2011, and twice been rejected. 
   
 
 
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