In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”.
Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland.
Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly.
The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence.
“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.”
Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”.