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One suspect released as probe continues

TT/AFP/The Local · 14 Sep 2011, 17:17

Published: 14 Sep 2011 17:17 GMT+02:00

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Salar Sami Mahamood, 23, Abdi Aziz Mahamud, 26, and 25-year-old Abdi Weli Mohamud were all ordered held in remand on suspicion of preparing to commit murder.

Suspicions against the men were downgraded on Tuesday from preparing terror crimes to preparing to commit murder.

However, 24-year-old Mohamed Adel Kulan was released due to a lack of sufficient evidence to keep him in custody.

In all likelihood, however, the remand orders will be appealed.

“My assessment is that the prosecutor's reasons are very vague. My client has denied committing any crimes and is therefore somewhat surprised over the court's decision," Mahamood's defence attorney, Urban Gilborne, told the TT news agency.

Both Gilbone and the attorney representing Aziz Mahamud, Ulf Ahstedt, describe their clients as calm and collected.

The lawyers are also highly critical of the secrecy surrounding the case.

“It's strange, I've lodged a protect against all this hush-hush and we still have a gag order,” said Ahlstedt.

He believes that the defence's arguments are being given less weight than those of the prosecution, led by vice prosecutor Agneta Hilding Qvarnström.

“She is sitting on everything and can take certain steps while I can't say anything,” said Ahlstedt.

“But all of this about the gag order and secrecy, is it really appropriate and is this how it was thought to be?”

Eva Henriksson, who represents 25-year-old Abdi Weli Mohamud, said she plans to appeal the remand order, arguing that the evidence is very thin.

“It's easy to be placed in remand in Sweden, that's my conclusion,” she said following the hearing.

“What has been presented today is possibly a fineable offence. When the four were arrested by the national task force the suspicions were preparing terror crimes. In the remand petition to Gothenburg District Court, however, it's classified as preparation to commit murder.”

The four men have been held since Sunday after they were apprehended by an elite counter-terrorism unit and police.

Hundreds of people were also evacuated from the Röda Sten art exhibition hall after officials concluded that "there was a threat that could endanger lives or health or cause serious damage”.

Qvarnström remained tight-lipped at the conclusion of Wednesday's remand hearings, which occurred one after another and altogether lasted seven hours.

She refused to answer questions about whether Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has received death threats from al-Shabaab for depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog, was the intended target of the murder plot.

“I'm not going to comment on who the object of the murder plan was,” she told TT.

Vilks had posted on a blog that he would attend the Gothenburg art fair being held at the Röda Sten cultural centre, but without specifying when, local newspapers reported.

Story continues below…

He has faced numerous death threats and a suspected assassination plot since his drawing was first published by a Swedish regional newspaper in 2007, illustrating an editorial on the importance of freedom of expression.

Qvarnström was also asked whether the case involved a plot that could have had a detrimental impact on society at large or whether it was involved something aimed toward an individual.

“We had certain indications at the start and therefore we had the [preparation of terror crimes] classification. But a few days have passed and we've had the opportunity to find out more and the classification has been downgraded, even if preparation to commit murder is still a serious crime,” she said.

“Terror crimes like this presuppose that the act will hurt the Swedish state and it was hard, when he had so little information, to show that.”

Qvarnström also refused to say when more light will be shed on the investigation, which has come in for criticism due to its high level of secrecy.

“As long as the preliminary investigation is ongoing, it will remain confidential,” she said.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:29 September 14, 2011 by Tysknaden
Was it the guy on the photo? Not enough proof...

- He is dangerous! He's an adult wearing a baby cap.
19:28 September 14, 2011 by tercel
Undoubtedly a group of imams got together with the police and simply said "we can not be held responsible for the actions of the moslem youth if these men are not released", a veiled (sarcasm intended) threat of riots to come. and the police caved. Expect soon all will be released - "not enough proof".
19:29 September 14, 2011 by J Jack
smoke = fire.
19:34 September 14, 2011 by Rey Stockholm
Why do they not simply deport these people, they are not swedish and will never have allegiance to Sweden
19:47 September 14, 2011 by Scansson
There's a few ways to look at this situation...

Perhaps the release was a tactical move on the part of SAPO, just like any given episode of the mid -eighties TV cop show "Miami Vice", whereas Crockett and Tubbs release the 'small fish' in the hopes that it will lead them to the 'Big Cahoona'.

However, it's more likely than not that it's the usual Svensk PCBS of bowing down, yet once again, to the 'oil-dealers'.

If this were a game, Sweden has lost : (
19:57 September 14, 2011 by Iraniboy
@Rey Stockholm

A person who commits a big crime should be defenitely deported I think but accusing a person of crime who ends up to be innocent and then deporting him is sick and weird. I'm sure this will never happen in Sweden.
20:14 September 14, 2011 by GLO
Sweden ! Wake up !! You can not bring people to your home who dont like you for whatever reason, make them dinner, invite them to sleep over and pay them to stay. You will always loose everything you Love. Sorry thats just the way it is....
20:29 September 14, 2011 by Twiceshy
Judge is not independent from executive authorities, SAPO, judge should loose job for that. But SAPO is dirty institution which will give to the judge career and better salary. Therefore people will sit in custody.
22:05 September 14, 2011 by prince T
I said it yesterday dat the body language of the Police is saying they have made mistakes with arrest. They are now going to allow terrorist to get away with it like they did with Assange.
22:37 September 14, 2011 by motti
Sweden, it is very sad indeed. But, you must now realise with your your love of the alleged underdog. That what you sow, so shall you reap.

You are now paying the price. decency is believed to be weakness. This is the reason for these people to act and show their gratitude towards your liberal attitude tregarding Moslems. how silly can you be?
02:34 September 15, 2011 by stoogefest
Somali Islamist Movement... These guys are too malnourished to carry an AK, it probably weighs more than 5 of them. If they sold it, they'll have food for 1 year ok enough jokes :(

GJ Sweden for catching... terrorists or w/e *clap clap* hope I don't get a visit from some costumed liberals or some damned protestant evangelist jesus freak...
10:21 September 15, 2011 by Rey Stockholm
@ At Iraniboy

I agree with your comment but in can not be absolute. my comment was meant to be general but with a qualification .

You commit crime anything other than petty, you should get deported. The same authorities who let people in in should also have have the ability to remove people if they have good evidence that person is not suitable for living in sweden.

We all know the evidence required for a criminal conviction is very high but send them back to their own country ( but without a criminal conviction )
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