Special Topics

Sweden Arrests IS Terror Suspect After Police Raid


Swedish police late Thursday said they had arrested a man they believe has links to Islamic State and whom they have been hunting since Wednesday on suspicion of planning an attack.

A spokeswoman for the security service, known as SAPO, said the suspect was in custody and the arrest had been carried out “in an orderly fashion.” She declined to give the location of the arrest beyond saying it was “somewhere in Sweden.”

Authorities are investigating suspected links between Mr. Majid and Islamic State, the person said. Mr Majid is believed to have some connection with Sweden, the person added.

Media published a grainy picture of a smiling, bearded young man dressed in dark clothing.

Citing unidentified police sources, public service television SVT reported the suspect was of Iraqi origin and about 25-years-old.

Majid was a member of the so-called Islamic State group, reported Expressen.

“Sweden has probably been naive in this regard. Perhaps it has been difficult for us to accept that there are, in our open society, people, Swedish nationals, who sympathise with the killers and with Islamic State,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said.

The last militant attack in Sweden took place in 2010 when a suicide bomber died when his bomb belt went off prematurely in central Stockholm as he was getting ready to attack a train station or department store during the Christmas shopping rush.

Europe is likely to face new attacks from the so-called Islamic State in Paris, the head of Europol, the coordinating organisation of EU countries’ police forces, said.             

“It is reasonable to assume … that further attacks are likely,” Europol director Rob Wainwright told MEPs in the European Parliament in Brussels.              

He compared Friday’s events in Paris to those in Mumbai in 2008, when militants killed 166 people at different locations across the Indian city.              

“The reality of what happened in Mumbai then has now arrived in Europe,” Mr Wainwright said.              

“This is clearly, therefore, a more significant and threatening form of terrorism than the phenomenon of the lone actor,” he added.     

“It’s also a clear statement of intent by ISIS [Islamic State] to export its brutal brand of terrorism to Europe to take it more onto the international stage.”              

Noting other attacks including last month’s downing of a Russian airliner in Egypt, he added: “We are dealing with a very serious, well resourced, determined international terrorist organisation that is now active on the streets of Europe. This represents the most serious terrorist threat faced in Europe for ten years.”              

The hearing comes on the eve of an extraordinary meeting of EU interior and justice ministers to discuss measures after the attacks in Paris.

To Top