04 Apr 2023 at 13:25
Five men have been arrested in Sweden for allegedly planning a terrorist act. They probably wanted revenge after right-wing extremist demonstrators burned a Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm in January.
The Swedish security service Säpo has linked the five to Islamic State, without going into further detail.
The public prosecutor must decide before Friday whether the five men will remain in pre-trial detention.
The Swedish security service does not expect an attack in the short term. But to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Sapö executive Susanna Trehörning says she does not want to take any risks.
The burning of the Quran on January 21 by the right-wing extremist Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan sparked outrage in Turkey and other Islamic countries. Ankara had called on the Swedish government to ban the action. But because of freedom of expression, it was allowed to continue.
The government banned new Quran burnings for fear of attacks
In February, the Swedish government refused to authorize new Koran burnings at the Turkish and Iraqi embassies in Stockholm, citing public order and security that could not be guaranteed. That measure was taken because Sapö saw more and more Swedes being threatened and feared attacks.
The court in Stockholm ruled on Tuesday that the refusal was unlawful. According to the judge, the threat was insufficiently concrete and therefore the permit to demonstrate, including the burning of the Koran, should have been issued.
Erdogan does not want Sweden in NATO for the time being after burning the Koran
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after the Quran burning that Sweden cannot count on Turkey’s support for gaining NATO membership.
The Turkish parliament has still not approved it. Ankara wants Sweden to extradite suspected terrorists and to take tougher action against members of the banned workers’ party PKK, among others.