SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Gothenburg blast: Police identify suspect with ‘no link to criminal gangs’

Police have confirmed that they have identified a suspect for the blast in Gothenburg earlier this week, which forced around 200 people to evacuate their homes and seriously injured four.

The area around the Gothenburg building hit by the blast cordoned off by police
The area around the building hit by the blast cordoned off by police. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The detonation occurred shortly before 5am on Tuesday morning, and 16 people were treated in hospital as a result, while residents have not been able to return to their homes.

Police have now issued a warrant for the arrest of a suspect for devastation endangering the public on probable cause (the higher degree of suspicion under Swedish law). The warrant was issued in the suspect’s absence and police have not yet located the person.

“In light of what is known in the investigation, we can say that there is no connection to gang crime,” regional police chief Klas Johansson told a press conference.

He added that the technical investigation had been delayed due to the conditions at the site of the detonation, which made it too difficult for technicians to enter.

Police did not go into any details at the press conference about who the suspect was or what the likely motive behind the act was, but Johansson said: “It is of course very important that we get hold of this person as soon as possible.” Swedish media including SVT Väst cited anonymous sources that said the suspect was a 55-year-old man.

Local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten reports that the Swedish Enforcement Agency had planned to carry out an eviction at the address on Tuesday, which may be linked to the blast.

Police had said on Tuesday that the blast was unlikely to be due to natural causes.

Up until September 15th this year, Swedish police had recorded 60 explosions classified as ‘endangerment of the public’. Many of these blasts are thought to be linked to criminal gang conflicts, but the crime has a relatively low clearance rate meaning the motive and suspects cannot always be identified.

Member comments

  1. So just another regular, ordinary, nameless Swede gathering explosives in his apartment and blowing up buildings before being evicted by police? Makes sense. Total sense. I mean doesn’t everyone in Sweden collect up explosives these days? It’s all the rage, so to speak. Totally normal. Nothing to see here. Move on and ignore the rubble.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

READ ALSO: 

More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
SHOW COMMENTS