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TERRORISM

Swedish officials meet suspects in Pakistan terror probe

Swedish embassy officials have now met with the four Swedish terror suspects currently imprisoned in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet) said on Wednesday.

Swedish officials meet suspects in Pakistan terror probe

Given their present circumstances, the group is said to be doing well.

The four Swedes – Mehdi Ghezali,a former inmate of Guantánamo Bay, 28-year-old Munir Awad, his 19-year-old girlfriend Safia Benaouda, and their two and half-year-old boy – were arrested on August 28th.

According to the foreign ministry spokesperson Karin Nylund, the meetings were conducted collectively and individually. The consulate will now continue its assignment in accordance with established protocol, however, Nylund was unable to provide concrete details about what will happen next.

“We will remain in contact with the detainees to the extent that they want and try to help if needed,” she said.

The Swedish prisoners were part of a group of foreigners thought by Pakistani police to be travelling in the company of a terror suspect.

The man’s alleged mission was to bring the foreigners to the lawless region of northern Waziristan to meet an Zahir Noor, an individual suspected of being a Taliban leader.

The group was arrested on the border of the North-western province, a region heavily targeted in the ongoing civil war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The group was arrested in a forbidden zone containing nuclear facilities, and is suspected of collaborating with terrorists.

The prisoners insist that they were on their way to a harmless religious gathering.

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BREAKING

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

Prosecutors in Sweden are now treating the murder at the Almedalen political festival as a terror crime, with the country's Säpo security police taking over the investigation.

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”. 

Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland. 

Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly. 

The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence. 

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

“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.” 

Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”. 

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