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TERRORISM

Many young Swedes doubt al-Qaida 9/11 guilt

Almost one in five Swedes aged under 30 think that George W Bush's US government lay behind the attacks on September 11th 2001, according to a new survey by Novus Opinion.

The TV4 programme Kalla Fakta, which commissioned the survey, will on Sunday address the subject of the Truth Movement, an international group which espouses the conspiracy theory that the terror network al-Qaida was not behind the September 11th attacks.

The movement, also known as the “September 11th research community” argues that it was in fact the US government that staged the attacks, which claimed the lives of 3,000 people, in order to legitimize the war on terrorism.

The Novus poll indicates that a significant number of young Swedes are persuaded by the logic of the argument.

Of the 1,000 Swedes surveyed in an internet panel, 70 percent responded that al-Qaida were behind the attacks, while seven percent did not think so.

Among those under-30 only 58 percent believed responsibility lay with al-Qaida, while 15 percent did not.

When asked whether the US government orchestrated the attacks, eight percent supported the theory while 64 percent rejected it.

However among the under-30s there was once again more scepticism: 51 percent rejected the conspiracy theory while 18 percent believed that the US government, led at the time by President George W Bush, had a role in the attacks.

As many as 31 percent of the young people interviewed in the survey responded that they did not know what to believe.

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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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