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NAZI

Ex-Nazi: ‘I was Auschwitz sign middleman’

A Swede suspected of involvement in the theft of the "Arbeit Macht Free" sign from Auschwitz has spoken out about his role in the raid on the former Nazi death camp.

Ex-Nazi: 'I was Auschwitz sign middleman'

“My role was to go get the sign in Poland. I was the middleman and was

supposed to take care of the sale,” the man, a former neo-Nazi whose name was not disclosed, told Swedish daily Expressen.

The paper referred to the man only as “a former Nazi leader.”

The Polish daily Fakt identified the man as Anders Högström, who in 1994 founded the National Socialist Front, a Swedish neo-Nazi movement he headed for five years before quitting.

Another Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, referred in its article to “Anders H.”

After leaving his party, Högström, 33, claimed he distanced himself from the movement and joined an association called Exit which helps youths quit far-right movements, according to Swedish media.

Polish prosecutors said on Wednesday they wanted to question three Swedish

residents over the December 18th theft of the death camp sign, without revealing

their names.

Five Poles have already been arrested.

The men are charged with theft and damage and face up to 10 years in prison.

According to Expressen, the “former Nazi leader” claimed the sign was to be sold for several million kronor (hundreds of thousands of dollars) which was to be used to finance bombings against the Swedish parliament and government.

“But that was not something I wanted to be involved in or carry out, in any way,” he told the paper.

“I contacted the police immediately, as soon as the sign was stolen, and gave them all the information I had. I haven’t committed any crime. I was the one who saw to it that the sign was found,” he added.

Police recovered the five-metre metal sign — which means “Work Will Set You Free” in German — on December 20th in northern Poland and arrested the five Polish men. The sign had been cut into three pieces.

The sign above Auschwitz’s gateway has long symbolised the horror of the camp, created by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in 1940 and in operation until Soviet troops liberated it in 1945.

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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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