So far in 2023, at least two planned terrorist attacks against Swedish targets have been foiled and a total of seven suspected terrorists have been arrested. In both cases, the high-profile Koran burnings are believed to have triggered the terrorist plans.
Yesterday, the Swedish security service raised the terror threat level to four (high threat) on a five-point scale. They say Sweden is now considered a “priority target” for Islamist terrorists.
At least two known planned terrorist attacks against Sweden were also foiled during the year – the first in April, when five men were arrested in Eskilstuna, Linköping and Strängnäs. Four of them were later arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a terrorist offence. Today they have all been released, but the suspicion against them remains.
The second case concerns two brothers who were arrested in Germany in May for planning an attack on a Swedish church. Among other things, the brothers were said to have bought chemicals that can be used to make bombs.
– We have had attacks against priests and churches in France before, very brutal. If something happens, it will probably be attacks like we have seen before in Europe against different types of targets, terrorism researcher Magnus Ranstorp comments in Svenska Dagbladet, describing the intended target as “worrying”.
Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (M) also confirms that the Koran burnings have led to “concrete terrorist plans against Sweden” – and that several suspected terrorists have been arrested.
– We know that planned terrorist attacks have been prevented.
– During the spring, several people were arrested in Sweden and abroad on suspicion of preparing acts in Sweden, Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer (M) said at a press conference.
This week, the terrorist group al-Qaeda also called on “the people of Islam” to avenge the Koran burnings and carry out attacks on Danish and Swedish targets, claiming that the countries had not learned the lessons of the terrorist attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which twelve people were murdered and eleven injured.