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Almedalen knife attacker linked to Swedish neo-Nazi groups: reports

The man behind the knife attack at Sweden's Almedalen political festival has been active in the militant neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, Swedish media have reported.

Almedalen knife attacker linked to Swedish neo-Nazi groups: reports
Police arrest the suspected knife attackers at on Wednesday morning. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

He has taken part in several neo-Nazi demonstrations over the past few years and has also expressed support for the extreme right Alternative for Sweden party on social media, the Expressen newspaper reported.

The Moderate MP Hanif Bali said on Twitter after the news came out that the stabbing was “a terror attack”. “This is nothing other than a terror attack”. 

The man stabbed a woman in the upper body at the Donners plats square only a minute’s walk from the stage where all eight of Sweden’s parliamentary party leaders are making speeches this week at the Almedalen political festival. The women is being treated for severe injuries at the Visby Lasarett hospital. 

The 30-something attacker fled the scene but was stopped and arrested by Lars Reuterberg, a 69-year-old pensioner. 

Reuterberg told the TT newswire that he had heard someone shout “stop him!” and then seen a man jump over a fence from the corner restaurant. 

“I thought he’d nicked a bag or something, and my spontaneous reaction was ‘I should take him down’. He wasn’t such a big guy, certainly no bodybuilder, so I tried to look a little uninterested, but when he came near me he ended up on the end of mighty great shove.” 

The man flew into a door and then just lay here. “It was only then I saw that he had a knife, which I hadn’t known earlier, because then I might have acted differently,” he said. 

“I’m livid now,” he went on. “This is the world’s most unique political week, a people’s festival where you can meet politicians and celebrities and everyone says ‘hi’, where there are journalists and everything. And this nutter goes and wrecks it all.” 

“I’m quite proud of myself,” he admitted. “I was never afraid. I’m afraid now for the woman who got stabbed.”

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ALMEDALEN 2022

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. 

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