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Swedish security police want man accused of terrorism for Islamic centre fire to be deported

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Swedish security police want man accused of terrorism for Islamic centre fire to be deported
The man is accused of terror offences after damage was caused to a Shia community centre in Malmö. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT
11:48 CEST+02:00
Sweden's security police (Säpo) want the suspect in a terror trial related to a fire at a community centre in Malmö last year to be deported, as they consider him a security risk.

The 30-year-old Syrian man is accused of terror offences for a fire which caused smoke damage to a Shia Muslim community centre in October. In a detention hearing at the end of the man's trial on April 7th the judge ruled that there was no longer any need to keep him in custody, pending the final judgement in the case.

But the man's freedom didn't last long: security police Säpo detained him immediately afterwards. According to newspaper Sydsvenskan, it has now emerged that Säpo opened a case under Sweden's Act on Foreign Immigration Control arguing that they believe there is evidence he has links with Isis and should therefore have his residence permit revoked.

When contacted by The Local, Säpo's head of press Nina Odermalm Schei said they do not comment on individual cases, but noted that:

"In general the security police can ask the Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) for a person to be deported. That happens when someone is considered to be a threat to Sweden's security. After that the Migration Agency has to decide".

Malmö district court judged in a remand hearing last December that there was not enough evidence to consider the fire a terror incident, but in March the prosecutor insisted that the Syrian is affiliated with Isis and charged him with "a terror offence, alternatively arson".

Chief prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström alleges that the man started the fire in order to spread fear in the name of Isis. His lawyer denied that however, insisting that the incident was not terror related. The verdict in the trial is due to be delivered on April 21st.

READ ALSO: Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö

The fire made global headlines last February after the White House included it on a list of 78 "under-reported terror attacks", despite The Local and several other Swedish outlets reporting extensively on the case.

Last year the Swedish government approved the deportation of five foreign citizens who were considered to be a risk to national security.

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