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Säpo spent millions on ‘James Bond’ party

Swedish security service Säpo has come under fire after revelations that a James Bond themed party in 2011 cost 5.3 million kronor ($802,500), a contract that was never put out to tender.

Säpo spent millions on 'James Bond' party

The party, which took place in June 2011, had a guest list of around 1,000 people and cost over 5 million kronor. The contract for the event was never put out to tender, revealed the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN) on Monday.

Furthermore, Säpo erroneously asked for almost one million kronor back in value added tax (moms), a claim that the Swedish National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen) noticed in February, demanding that the security service repaid 114,500 kronor in compensation.

The head of Säpo since July this year, Anders Thornberg, explained to the paper that the James Bond party was an exception – a relief for staff members after the pressure from 2011’s terror threats, suicide bombing and a company reorganization.

“This was a unique and extraordinary time and we’d been subjected to extreme pressure. We thought that we needed a special gathering for the whole security police team,” he told the paper.

The party was organized by former Säpo head Anders Danielsson, who is now the Director General of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

“I take responsibility for everything, if it’s wrong then it is wrong, and it will be sorted out in due course,” he told DN.

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask has not yet commented on the revelations , but said that a spokesperson will make a statement later on Monday morning.

TT/The Local/og

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ISLAM

Prominent Muslim head of free school seized by security police

The chief executive of a largely Muslim free school in Gothenburg has been placed in custody by the Swedish Migration Agency on the orders of the country's Säpo security police. It follows the arrests of other Imams in recent months.

Prominent Muslim head of free school seized by security police
He was seized on Wednesday and taken to an immigration detention centre in the city, Sweden's Expressen newspaper reported on Thursday
 
Abdel-Nasser el Nadi, chief executive of Vetenskapsskolan, is the fifth senior member of Sweden's Muslim community to be placed in custody in less than a month. 
 
Three prominent imams are now in custody: Abo Raad, imam of a mosque in Gävle, Hussein Al-Jibury, imam of a mosque in Umeå, and Fekri Hamad, imam of a mosque in Västerås. Raad's son is also being held. 
 
 
Sven-Erik Berg, the school's headmaster, told The Local that he had no idea what was behind the arrest. 
 
“We don't know anything. I don't know anything more than you,” he said. “We are doing nothing, but the school is naturally maintaining a dialogue with the Swedish School Inspectorate and their lawyers.” 
 
He said it was inaccurate to describe the school as a 'Muslim school' as it has no official confessional status. 
 
“The chief executive is a central person among Swedish Muslims, so naturally the group of people we recruit from are often those who have a relation to Islam or Sweden's Islamic associations,” he said. “But the school does not go around telling children what they should or shouldn't believe.”
 
On its website the school declares: “At our school everyone is treated equally irrespective of gender, religion, ethnic background, appearance, opinions, or abilities”. 
 
“We are one of the best schools in Gothenburg. You just have to look at the statistics,” Berg added.  
 
A spokesman for Säpo told Expressen that he could not comment on any of the five cases or on whether they were in some way linked. 
 
But according to the Swedish news site Doku, which investigates Islamic extremists, Säpo is probing whether el Nadi has any links to a network of Islamic militants.
 
In an article published last October, the site alleged that El Nadi's activism was part of the reason that so many young men from Gothenburg had travelled to fight for the terror group Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. 
 
El-Nadi was previously the school's headmaster, and the school was in 2018 criticised by the Swedish School Inspectorate for not sufficiently promoting equality between girls and boys.
 
When he was interviewed by Dagens Nyheter a year ago, he asserted his loyalty to Sweden. 
 
“I have five children, all of whom were born in Sweden, a big family, and I want to protect this society in the same way that I have protected my children,” he said.  
 
El-Nadi was born in Egypt but has lived in Sweden since 1992. He has twice applied to become a Swedish citizen, in 2007 and 2011, and twice been rejected. 
   
 
 
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