SHARE
COPY LINK

TERRORISM

Swedish woman freed in Pakistan terror probe

Safia Benaouda, the 19-year-old Swedish woman arrested in Pakistan earlier in September in the company of former Guantanamo inmate Mehdi Ghezali, is reported to have been released, according to local media.

Benaouda, who is the daughter of Helena Benaouda, the head of the Muslim Council of Sweden, was released with her two and half year old son on Friday morning from the Islamabad prison in which they have been held for the past four weeks, according to local media sources.

“They have confirmed that a woman and a small child have been handed over to the Swedish embassy today and there are no suspicions held against them,” the Pakistani journalist Naveed Siddiqui, working for GEO News, said after talking to the Pakistani interior ministry.

The Swedish foreign ministry was unable to confirm the release on Friday morning.

“We have not received any information about this from the Swedish embassy,” Karin Nylund at the ministry told news agency TT.

Neither sources elsewhere within the ministry nor even the Benaouda’s mother were able to confirm the reports, which by 1pm on Friday had received wide coverage in the Swedish media.

“I have received so many contradictory reports and am now waiting for confirmation from the foreign ministry,” Helena Benaouda told TT.

Naveed Siddiqui however was able to add that the authorities have confirmed that a further eleven prisoners are set to be released, implying that Swedish national Mehdi Ghezali and Benaouda’s 28-year-old partner Munir Awad, could be among them.

He also claimed that the Pakistani authorities had detained a further Swede in connection to the terror probe, a 28-year-old man, but this has neither been confirmed by Swedish authorities.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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”. 

SHOW COMMENTS