SHARE
COPY LINK
STOCKHOLM SUICIDE BOMBING

TERRORISM

Military staffer knew about attacks: report

A Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) employee warned an acquaintance to stay clear of an area in central Stockholm on Saturday where, several hours later, two explosions went off in what is being called a terrorist attack.

Military staffer knew about attacks: report

“If you can, avoid Drottninggatan today. A lot can happen there…just so you know,” the message said, according to the TT news agency.

Armed Forces spokesperson Jonas Svensson told TT on Sunday he was unaware of the message.

“I haven’t heard about this at all. Now I’m going to check out the information,” he told TT when confronted with the news.

Later the Swedish military said it was now “preparing how the issue will be dealt with”.

“The Swedish Armed Forces did not know ahead of time about the plans or the circumstances surrounding the events which have taken place. If that had been the case, (Swedish security service) Säpo, which is the responsible agency in these types of cases, would have been informed immediately,” said military spokesperson Erik Lagersten in a statement.

Swedish intelligence agencies may have known that something was in the works, Wilhelm Agrell, a professor in intelligence analysis, told TT.

“A warning is a slippery term and nothing concrete. Warnings can consist of very precise information that can be acted on, but it’s common that warnings are more diffuse and can’t be acted on,” Agrell said.

On Saturday night, TT spoke with John Daniels, head of security for Swedish military intelligence agency MUST. But he refused to comment, instead directing all inquiries to Säpo.

Säpo said on Sunday it was taking over the investigation of the two blasts, which occurred within minutes of one another and about 200 metres apart on Drottninggatan, a busy shopping street in central Stockholm.

The agency considers the explosions to be a terrorist crime.

One man believed to be a suicide bomber was killed in the second blast, while the first explosion injured two others.

Shortly before the explosions, Säpo and the TT news agency received a message from a 29-year-old man from southern Sweden who claimed that the prophet Mohammed was being degraded.

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”. 

SHOW COMMENTS