The Associated Press reported on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, that Sweden’s national security service, SAPO, is investigating possible terror plots after Iraqi authorities warned SAPO of seven or eight ISIS fighters heading to Stockholm to carry out violence in the style of the November 2015 attacks in Paris.
A Swedish security police spokesman told The Sun, “Right now we’re gathering information and intelligence and coordinating with our national and international partners.” SAPO has dispatched agents to Iraq to learn more. Security at airports and train stations has not yet increased, but police are operating at a “heightened state of readiness.”
While this type of information cannot be “dismissed,” SAPO said, it explained these types of concerns arise “quite often” and have yet to come to fruition. While the identity of the alleged plotters is unknown, is estimated that 300 Swedes have ventured to the Middle East to join ISIS since 2013.
CTV News reports that the
Swedish media is also speculating that the celebrations Saturday for Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 70th birthday could be a possible target. Such an event gathers the royal family, government officials and European royal visitors.
While Sweden remains officially neutral, it participated in the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the no-fly zone operations of the Libyan Civil War, and joined the coalition against ISIS in January 2015, sending over 100 troops to Iraq to help train Iraqi forces. The International Business Times reported in April 2015,
…the move has been controversial in Sweden, with one terrorism expert suggesting that it could raise the threat level at home.
“It could motivate someone to carry out violent acts to protest,” said Thomas Hegghammer, a terror expert at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment… “There will be more attacks. We can already see a marked increase.”
The terror attack in Paris was revenge for France’s role in the anti-ISIS coalition, according to both ISIS and French intelligence officials, just as the 9/11 attacks in New York were revenge for U.S. military intervention in Iraq, Lebanon, and elsewhere, according to both Al Qaeda and U.S. military officials. Could Sweden be next?