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TERRORISM

Stockholm police on alert after Oslo blast

Police in Stockholm have increased their presence at key government buildings in the capital following the dramatic explosion in Oslo on Friday afternoon.

“Of course, the incident influences us in Stockholm,” police spokesman Stefan Färdigs told TT.

“We are taking action along with the security police, but I can’t say what that will be.”

However, despite the massive bomb attack in neighbouring Norway – which has claimed several lives and injured many more – the terror threat level in Sweden has not been raised.

“We have not seen any reason to increase it,” said security police (Säpo) press officer Sirpa Franzén to Aftonbladet.

“We are in contact with our partners, the security police in Norway, and we’re receiving information from other sources too,” she added.

The explosion apparently struck at the heart of Norway’s administration, turning the streets around the government quarter into ‘a warzone’. Large parts of the centre of Oslo were evacuated following the blast.

Sweden’s embassy in Oslo is around three kilometres from the site of the explosion and was undamaged in the explosion.

Speaking to Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish diplomat in Oslo who was on duty at the time of the blast, Olof Hultdgren, said that there has been little contact so far from Swedes in the city.

“But there are a great many Swedes who live and work here, especially during the summer,” he said.

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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