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CRIME

Three charged with planning terror attack in Sweden

Sweden's prosecution authority said on Thursday it had charged three men with planning a terror attack in Sweden, warning the plot could have caused serious damage had it not been prevented.

Three charged with planning terror attack in Sweden
Solna District Court, where the hearings took place. Photo: Pontus Lundahl / TT

The three are suspected of “obtaining and storing large amounts of chemicals and other equipment with the aim of killing and wounding other people,” the prosecution authority said in a statement.

“If the terrorist crime had been carried out, it could have seriously hurt Sweden.”

The trio were also charged, along with three other people, with financing terrorism. Prosecutors accuse them of sending money abroad to fund the so-called Islamic State's operations.

All six have denied the charges against them. The trial is expected to open on January 7th.

The men, aged between 30 and 46, originally hail from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Their residency status in Sweden could not immediately be verified.

Five of the six have been in custody since a police raid in Strömsund, 600 kilometres (375 miles) north of Stockholm, in late April. The sixth man is not in custody.

During the April raid, neighbours told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper they saw police removing about 15 large plastic containers from a shed on an empty property.

According to Dagens Nyheter, at least one of the suspects had been in contact with Rakhmat Akilov, a radicalized Uzbek asylum seeker who mowed down pedestrians in Stockholm with a stolen truck in April 2017, killing five people. Akilov was sentenced to life in prison in June 2018.  

READ ALSO: Rakhmat Akilov sentenced to life imprisonment for Stockholm terror attack

Member comments

  1. Meanwhile we let men who went to fight with ISIS return to Sweden, and do whatever it is they do here.

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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