Police discover stash of napalm material

Swedish police have discovered a store of ammunition in rural Österlen in southern Sweden after a raid targeting two men, aged 20 and 23-years-old. Among the items seized was alunat, a material used to make napalm.

“They have tried to manufacture napalm, but have not succeeded,” said prosecutor Helena Lundström to the local Ystads Allehanda daily.

In a raid on the men’s homes police also found weapons magazines and thousands of bullets for, among other things, automatic weapons. Furthermore there were stores of nitroglycerine, gun powder, sulphur, fuse wire, detonators, and two complete bombs.

The two men have now been charged with offences ranging from theft, home distilling, aggravated drink driving, and contravention of the law on flammable and explosive materials.

The pair are accused of having broken into a store at the P 7 military area in Revingehed outside of Lund. Aside from a couple of cases of uniforms they stole seven wooden boxes with alunat, which is a core ingredient in napalm.

Each wooden box contained 16 cans of alunat, with one can being sufficient for 75 litres of napalm.

But according to the prosecutor there are other ingredients needed to make napalm and the men had no motive for developing the substance.

“This matter concerns two otherwise well-ordered boys who just have a little additioinal interest in chemical products,” the prosecutor said.

The men admit to having stolen the alunat but deny that they had intended to manufacture napalm.

A third man has been charged and has admitted to handling stolen goods, while a fourth denies any involvement.

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Sweden world’s 13th most peaceful nation

Sweden has been ranked the 13th most peaceful country in the world by a global peace index, down from 11th in 2014.

Sweden world's 13th most peaceful nation
Sweden's arms trade is keeping it down in the rankings. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

According to the 2015 Global Peace Index (GPI), recently released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Iceland remains the world's most peaceful country.

Sweden's other Nordic neighbours Denmark, Finland and Norway all ranked in the top 20, taking the second, sixth and 17th spots respectively.

Denmark also came in second in the 2013 and 2014 reports, each time snapping at the heels of Iceland, which has been declared the world's most peaceful country each year since 2008.

According to the report, 15 of the 20 most peaceful countries in the world are in Europe, while the Middle East and North Africa remain the most violent regions in the world. The United States was at number 94, while Syria was at the very bottom of the 162-country list.

“The most substantial changes in the Index occurred in the Middle East and North Africa where several countries suffered from an upsurge in violence related to sectarian strife and civil conflicts,” the report noted.

Like in previous years, Sweden, which in 2014 celebrated two centuries of peace, is kept down in the rankings largely because it sells arms to other countries.

Despite enjoying a global reputation for peacemaking and generous foreign aid, the Scandinavian nation is the world's 11th largest exporter of weapons, including Saab's Jas Gripen jets, and has counted a number of regimes criticized for human rights abuses as its customers since the Cold War ended, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

READ ALSO: Sweden scraps controversial Saudi arms deal

The GPI comprises 23 indicators of the existence of violence or fear of violence, which include metrics such as the level of perceived criminality in the society, impact of terrorism, and military expenditure as percentage of the country's gross domestic product.

Each of the indicators for a given country is graded on a scale of one to five and then indexed into a final score, which can then be compared against other countries.

Sweden's indexed score was 1.36 while Iceland's was 1.148. In comparison, Syria's score was 3.645. Notably, Sweden scored around 1.0 or at least below 2.0 in nearly all areas apart from 'weapons exports' in which it received 5 out of 5.

A video explainer from the Institute for Economics and Peace is below and an interactive map can be accessed here