Swedish party leader Annie Lööf was target of Gotland knife attack

TT/The Local
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Swedish party leader Annie Lööf was target of Gotland knife attack
Centre Party leader Annie Lööf walks between different events at the Almedalen festival on Gotland. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Annie Lööf, leader of the liberal Centre Party, was the intended target of the suspected terror attack at Sweden's Almedalen political festival in July, the prosecutor in the case confirmed on Thursday.


"The suspicion is that the perpetrator intended quite simply to do away with her," Henrik Olin, the prosecutor in the case, told the TT newswire, while telling the Expressen newspaper that Theodor Engström, who carried out the attack, was willing to plead guilty to preparing to murder the politician, who is a hate figure for many on the far-right. 


"His lawyer said at the custody hearing last week that he is ready to accept responsibility for preparation for terror crimes as well, and that relates to this suspected crime." 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack? 

Engström, 33, a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement and a long-term psychiatric patient, fatally stabbed the prominent psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren in the main central square in Visby, the main city of Gotland at the start of July. 

The stabbing took place in the middle of the Almedalen political festival, the highlight of Sweden's political year, when the leaders of all the political parties make speeches, and Sweden's political, business, and media worlds gather for days of non-stop networking.

Lööf confirmed that she had been the target with a post on Instagram on Thursday. 

"I can confirm that this is the case and that I have been provided with a plaintiff's lawyer," she wrote. "Of course, this is disconcerting and that it affects me. But hate must not win." 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Annie Lööf (@annie_loof)

The forensic psychiatrists who examined Engström after the attack have determined that he was severely mentally disturbed both at the time of the attack and at the time they investigated him. 

Engström is being held suspected of committing a terror offense through murder, and also through preparing a terror offense involving murder. 


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