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Swedish police mobilize after left-wing attacks

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Swedish police mobilize after left-wing attacks
08:52 CEST+02:00
A string of violent attacks by extreme left-wingers in Västerås has local police ready to mobilize with the help of the national intelligence agency against the activists' self-professed political campaign of terror.

Sveriges Radio (SR) reported on Wednesday that Mälardalen region police suspect the same group of people to have orchestrated around 30 crimes - including threats by telephone, chemical attacks, and assault.

"A Nazi isn't just a bad person or someone who has made bad personal choices," a member of the network told SR after his associates vandalized an apartment belonging to a person they considered to be an extreme right-winger. "We see them as a political opponent, a political enemy."

While the police do not see the group of leftwing attacks as posing any real threat to Sweden, they are keen to get to grips with the string of crimes.

"We don't consider these actors pose any real threat to democracy, in terms of staging a revolution or changing our political situation," said security police Säpo intelligence agent Ahn-Za Hagström. "But they do pose a relatively grave threat to individual democratic functions."

SR reported that the attacks began in February, and fears that the violence will escalate has Säpo cooperating with local authorities.

Hagström, however, told the radio that the level of political violence across Sweden was nowhere near the levels reached during the early 1990s - with the murder of police officers in Malexander, and the murder of syndicalist union activist Björn Söderberg.

"Today the extremism milieu is not at the level of gross violence, although there is systematic violence between members of different extremist groups," she told SR.

TT/The Local/at

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