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Sweden Democrat steps down over church-burning posts

A politician for the far-right Sweden Democrats has taken a temporary break from politics after allegedly threatening to carry out a suicide bombing against a mosque, Swedish media report.

Sweden Democrat steps down over church-burning posts
File picture of a man at a computer. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

According to an anti-racist site called 'Not racist but…', Lennart Karlsson, a municipal councillor from the southern town of Habo, wrote virulently Islamophobic comments under a pseudonym on various websites.

“I'm going to go to a mosque myself with a fully-loaded vest,” he is alleged to have written under the pseudonym UNObserver.

Karlsson has admitted that the pseudonym was his, but claimed his account was hacked.

Swedish public radio SR reported that a regional Sweden Democrats meeting had late on Wednesday accepted Karlsson's decision to “take a time out” from politics, and his case was transferred to the party's national offices.

Speaking to the Jönköpings-Posten daily on Tuesday, Karlsson said he believed there were different human races with different genetic predispositions to kindness and intelligence.

Under the pseudonym, Karlsson also allegedly wrote that while serving in a UN mission, he had helped lock “vandalizing Muslims” inside a church that they had apparently set alight and let them burn.

2022 SWEDISH ELECTION

Sweden Democrat politician charged for posting Hitler tribute

A politician for the populist Sweden Democrat party has been charged with hate crimes after his social media account posted a picture of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and compared black people to monkeys.

Sweden Democrat politician charged for posting Hitler tribute

Mikael Lundin, the deputy chair of the Sweden Democrats in the city of Östersund in northwest Sweden, was charged with hate crimes after the organisation Näthatsgranskaren reported him to the police for a series of posts made by his profile on the Russian social media group VK. 

The posts included a series of pictures praising Hitler, including one with the words “our oath: all for Germany”, and one comparing black people with apes, according to the prosecutor in the case. 

He also in 2017 posted a picture which called for Sweden’s then Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven to be assassinated. 

Lundin denies making the posts, claiming that someone in his household may have been using his account. 

“I cannot give away that much now, but a lot of things are going to come out during the court case,” he told the anti-extremist website Expo. “It may be that someone has logged into my account and posted stuff up there.” 

In his interview with the police, Lundin said that he suspected that either someone in his household had shared the posts, or that he had been hacked. 

An analysis of Lundin’s VK account shows that he is closely linked to members of the extreme neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), with the extremist group’s leader Simon Lindberg and its parliamentary leader Pär Öberg both among his friends. 

The Sweden Democrats called the posts that Lundin is accused of making as “unusually distasteful and serious”, and said it had opened an investigation into whether Lundin should have his membership annulled. 

“There are reasons to doubt the credibility of the explanations which have been given and the party has, as a result, decided to open an investigation into him in its membership committee,” Ludvig Grufman, a press secretary for the party, said. “The individual in question has also been encouraged to resign from his party posts.” 

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