Sweden’s National Security Service arrests four over suspected terror plot

Sweden’s National Security Service (SAPO) has arrested four people on suspicion of planning a terror attack on Gothenburg, the country’s second-largest city.

Ulf Edberg, spokesman for the Vastra Gotaland police in west Sweden, said a culture and arts arena had been cordoned off after information was received about a potential threat.

“We decided to clear the area because of a threat that could have involved serious danger to life, health or extensive destruction of property,” he said.

The area was reopened Sunday morning on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

“Four people were arrested on suspicion of the preparation of terrorist acts,” said Sara Kvarnstrom, press secretary at SAPO.

The arrests were made on Saturday with assistance from the police counter-terrorism unit, she said.

Violence, or the threat of it, has risen in the Nordic region in recent years. A botched bomb attack took place in the Swedish capital Stockholm last December, killing only the bomber.

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik admitted to killing 77 people on July 22 – eight in a bombing in Oslo that badly damaged the Norwegian government quarter, and 69 gunned down on a nearby island.

Henrik Wallgren, one of those evacuated, said police had cleared an area up to 600 metres around the building.

“It was disturbing,” he said. “The police wanted us to leave quickly … saying that there was a threat against Roeda Sten.”

The south-western port city of Gothenburg is Sweden’s second biggest after Stockholm with a population of 600,000.

SAPO said there was no reason to raise the terror alert for Sweden.

“The threat level to Sweden has remained unchanged since 1 October 2010, when it was raised by one step, from low to elevated,” it said.


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