Sweden 'underplays threat of far-right terror': researcher

The Local Sweden
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Sweden 'underplays threat of far-right terror': researcher
A policeman stands in front of the truck used in Rakhmat Akilov's 2017 attack. Photo: TT

The media in Sweden tends to concentrate overwhelmingly on the risk of Islamist jihadi attacks, making them overshadow terror attacks from right-wing extremists, one of Sweden's leading terror researchers has said.


"The problem is that violence by far-right extremists never gets the same amount of coverage in the mainstream media," 
Hans Bruun, from the Defence Defence University, told Swedish broadcaster SR.
"But instead it gets lost in the din of the debate on Islamic State, people going to fight for Islamic State and everything else that gets discussed." 
Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old responsible for Friday's terrible mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, claims to have drawn inspiration from the Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik (who now goes by the name of Fjotolf Hansen). 
According to Sweden's Säpo security police, there are currently around 3,000 violent extremists in the country, of which around 2,000 are Islamic extremists, with the rest coming from either White Power or neo-Nazi groups, or from the extreme left. 
But in Sweden, the death toll from far-right terrorists is significantly greater than that from Islamist attackers, with the five dead and 14 injured in 2017's Stockholm terror attack the only people to suffer from Islamic terrorism on Swedish soil. 
"What we see not only in Sweden but also at the European level is that the number of victims from far-right attacks has been growing recently," journalist Anna-Lena Lodenius told SR. 
Here are some of Sweden's most serious far-right attacks: 
  • 1992. The Laser Man. From 1991 to January 1992, John Ausonius, known in Sweden as "Lasarmannen", shot 11 people most of whom were immigrants, to start with using a rifle with laser sights. 
  • 1995. John Hron murder. In August 1995, four young neo-Nazi skinheads tortured and then murdered the 14-year-old anti-racist campaigner John Hron in Kungälv. 
  • 1995. Gerard Gbeyo murder. In September 1995, a 16-year-old skinhead stabbed to death a young refugee from Côte d'Ivoire in Klippan. 
  • 2009-2010. Malmö shootings. The far-right extremist Peter Mangs shot and killed two people of immigrant background and injured 10, in a two year shooting spree targeting dark-skinned residents of Malmö. 
  • 2015. Trollhättan School Attack: In 2015, the 21-year-old Anton Lundin-Pettersson killed three people when he attacked the Kronan school in Trollhättan with a samurai sword.   
This list could be considerably longer if it was expanded to include all murders and assaults carried out by members of far-right extremist groups. 
And here are are the two Islamist attacks: 
  • 2010 Stockholm bombings. Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen, killed himself when a pipe bomb he was carrying exploded in Stockholm. A car bomb he had detonated earlier in the day slightly injured two people. 
  • 2017 Stockholm truck attack. Rakhmat Akilov killed five people and injured 14 when he drove a truck he had stolen down the Drottninggatan shopping street in central Stockholm. 


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