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TERRORISM

Swedish security police eye terror T-shirts

Swedish security service Säpo has said it is monitoring Danish clothing firm Fighters + Lovers, which relocated to Sweden last year after six of its members were convicted of supporting terrorism.

Swedish security police eye terror T-shirts

Denmark’s Supreme Court found in March 2009 that the company’s T-shirts violated Danish terror legislation as sales would support the PFLP in the Palestinian territories and the FARC in Colombia, both of which are included on the EU’s list of terrorist organisations.

All six convicted members of Fighters + Lovers received conditional prison sentences of between two and six months. In response, the firm decided to move its T-shirt operations to Sweden despite the fact that Sweden is also legally obliged to follow the EU list.

Since August 2009 the firm has been selling its T-shirts from Sweden and states on its homepage that proceeds from the collection are being forwarded to the FARC and the PFLP.

According to news agency TT, Swedish security police (Säpo) are aware of the firm’s presence in Sweden and are monitoring the situation but were unwilling to confirm what measures had been taken.

The firm operates a Swedish, Danish and Spanish web-shop to sell its T-shirts bearing logos with the groups’ names, as well as a Facebook site used to explain its mission in support of groups that it describes as “freedom fighters and political activists.”

The firm argues that terror legislation is out of all proportion.

“Showing solidarity to freedom fighters is not supporting terror,” the group writes, explaining that proceeds from T-shirt sales go to lawyers providing legal aid to Palestinians and Colombians incarcerated by Israeli and Colombian intelligence services.

F&L’s Danish director Michael Schølardt told Danish newspaper Politiken that since the court also fined the firm $165,000 proceeds are currently going to the Danish state and not the FARC nor the PFLP for the time being.

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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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