UK letter bomb suspect charged with threatening Swedish ministers

A 42-year-old man will face trial in Sweden on suspicion of having sent threatening letters to Swedish ministers.

UK letter bomb suspect charged with threatening Swedish ministers
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, left, with minister Annika Strandhäll and Morgan Johansson. Photo: Erik Simander/TT

The man, from western Sweden, is suspected of having sent letters containing verbal threats and powder – which turned out to be harmless – to 21 cabinet ministers and other well-known figures in Sweden; in total 26 people.

“I argue that he intended to cause serious fear to those who received the letters. The crimes are aggravated because in each envelope there was a powder which appeared to be toxic and explosive,” said prosecutor and chief investigator Eva Wintzell in a statement on Wednesday.

“The threats to elected representatives are particularly serious because those are threats directed against democracy,” she added.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, Social Affairs Minister Annika Strandhäll, Education Minister Gustav Fridolin and Justice and Interior Minister Morgan Johansson are among those who received the letters, reports Swedish public radio.

The man is also suspected of the attempted murder of four individuals in the UK who received a mail bomb he sent to a bitcoin selling company called Cryptopay in London last year.

His computer showed he had searched for information on how to build explosives and had created an account on Cryptopay's website.

He was arrested at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport in mid-May after arriving on a flight from Thailand.

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Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.