April 13. 2024. 5:15

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Five arrested over ISIS-related terror attack plans in Sweden

Five men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack in Sweden on Tuesday in apparent retaliation for the Quran burning committed by a far-right activist in January.

On Tuesday, the Swedish Security Service (Säkerhetspolis, Säpo) announced that it foiled the plans of five men, linked to the Islamic State terrorist organisation.

“The Swedish Security Service has this morning arrested five people suspected of conspiring to commit a terrorist crime in Sweden,” declared Susanna Trehörning, Deputy Head of the Counterterrorism Unit at Säpo.

“We assess that there are international links, more specifically the terrorist organisation IS”, she added.

The current case is one of several that Säpo has worked on after the right-wing Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan burned a Quran outside the Turkish embassy in January.

His move has prompted massive demonstrations across the Muslim world and soured the relations between Stockholm and Ankara to the point that Turkish president Erdogan is now demanding Sweden change its laws to make such Quran burning illegal. According to Swedish law, burning a book such as the Quran falls under the protection of freedom of speech.

Sweden went from being a “legitimate” target for terrorist attacks to a “priority” one, according to Säpo.

“After what happened at the beginning of the year, and the security situation we had, we have seen a significant increase in the number of threats targeting Sweden and Swedish interests,” Trehörning said.

The Swedish terrorist threat level remains at an elevated level, a three on a five-point scale, which means that a terrorist act may occur.

At that point, at least one of the suspects denies the allegations of terrorism.

“He is surprised that he has been suspected and denies the crime”, the man’s lawyer told TT.

(Charles Szumski | EURACTIV.com)