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TERRORISM

Sweden terror threat stands despite bin Laden death

The death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Sunday has not affected Sweden's security situation regarding terrorist threats, according to the Swedish Security Service.

Sweden terror threat stands despite bin Laden death

“We continue to follow developments together with our international partners. We currently have the same assessment as yesterday. No changes in respect of the threat situation,” said Michael Gunnarsson at Säpo.

Security experts worldwide are busy debating the impact of the death of Osama bin Laden on the global terror threat, with several warning of likely revenge attacks.

In a poll conducted by the Metro newspaper in cooperation with YouGov the day following the announcement of bin Laden’s death, 49 percent of Swedes expected there to be additional terror attacks in Sweden.

In addition, 74 percent of Swedes polled said they expected al-Qaeda sympathisers to seek revenge for his death by carrying out additional terror attacks around the world.

As late as February 2011, an English-language online publication with links to the al-Qaeda terrorist network called indirectly for new acts of terrorism in Sweden, while paying tribute to the suicide bomber who attacked in Stockholm in December.

Taimour Abdulwahab, a 29-year-old whose family fled from Iraq to Sweden in 1991, blew up himself and his car in a deserted side-street off of Stockholm’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfare on December 11th, injuring two people.

The attack was Sweden’s first suicide bombing and came as the Security Service was completing a report which concluded that violent Islamic extremism posed a threat to Sweden that shouldn’t be underestimated.

US president Barack Obama announced the news late Sunday night Washington time that Osama bin Ladin, almost ten years after he masterminded the 9/11 attacks on New York City, had been killed in a US led operation.

In an address to the nation, Obama said Bin Ladin was killed by US special forces in Abbottabad, a highland town north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Sunday.

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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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