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TERRORISM

Gothenburg terror probe ‘shut down’

The preliminary investigation into four Gothenburg men suspected of preparing acts of terrorism has been abandoned, Swedish security service Säpo confirmed on Tuesday.

“The three suspects have been dismissed from the investigation. There are no long any suspicions,” Säpo spokesperson Patrik Peter confirmed for the TT news agency.

The confirmation comes following claims made Tuesday afternoon by one of the men arrested that the investigation had been shut down.

“We’ve had it confirmed by our attorneys that the investigation has been shut down,” the 39-year-old, who was apprehended in the probe, told TT.

“There are no suspicions against us. There’s nothing to investigate.”

The 39-year-old added that the three suspects’ lawyers plan to hold a press conference on Wednesday to elaborate on the case.

“I don’t understand how this could have happened. It will be interesting to hear the police’s version of this,” he said.

On Friday, October 29th, Gothenburg police issued an alert about a bomb threat at an unknown address in the city centre for the following day.

On Saturday morning, several people were arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism in Gothenburg. Two of them were released later that day.

Gothenburg police remained on alert through Sunday despite the arrests, saying, “the situation may last several weeks.”

By Sunday night, two of the men who had been held overnight were released because “the suspicions weren’t sufficient for a remand order.”

The police then declared that the threat against Gothenburg was over.

On Monday, Swedish security service Säpo said that suspicions against the four men remained, but by Wednesday, it became clear that only three of the men remained under suspicion, while the fourth man was only to have been called in for questioning on Saturday.

On Thursday, prosecutor Björn Ericson at the Swedish National Police Crimes Unit (Riksenheten för polismål) opened a preliminary investigation into possible professional misconduct in connection with the case.

According to Patrik, Säpo closed the investigation because of a lack of evidence connecting the suspects to the Gothenburg bomb threat.

“The preliminary investigation has been shut down because there is no reason to believe the three people have committed a crime which can be connected with the bomb threat in Gothenburg.”

Säpo took over the investigation from the Västra Götaland County police on Sunday, October 31st.

“At a certain stage it’s natural that Säpo take over an investigation classified as preparing acts of terrorism in so far as it is the security police who work on investigating suspected terror crimes in Sweden,” said Peter.

But Peter refused to reveal any details about what lead to the three suspects in the first place, directing all further questions regarding the investigation to the prosecutor.

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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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