Eight people were injured in a knife attack in the town of Vetlanda in southern Sweden, and police are investigating the incident as terrorism. During the arrest, police shot the perpetrator in the leg. As the Novinky news outlet pointed out, according to Jihadwatch.org, the man is believed to have shouted “Allahu Akbar”, a line often used by Islamic terrorists, during the attack.
According to a Swedish Local.se news outlet, which referred to the local police, the attacker is between 20 and 30 years of age of unknown origin. The motive is not clear yet.
Police arrived at the crime scene in the city center around 3:00 p.m. after people reported several injured with a weaon, the public SVT television reported. Interior Minister Mikael Damberg then spoke of several seriously injured people.
Police investigate the case as terrorism, although it first classified it as attempted multiple murder.
Swedish police have closed several areas in the center of the city, located about 270 kilometers southwest of Stockholm. However, they later reported that the situation was under control and there was no indication that the perpetrator had an accomplice or that further attacks were imminent.
According to Local.se, the detained man was supposed to be known for “petty crimes” and lived in nearby Småland.
“An intensive investigation is underway. We currently want to hear from all witnesses and people who might have more information about the incident. That is one of the reasons why we cannot tell more details at the moment,” quoted Local.se local police chief Malena Grann.
“We have information that leads us to investigate this act as terrorism, but I cannot provide further information,” Grann added.
According to the police, the national terrorism threat level in Sweden is currently in the third grade out of five. At a news conference, police said they had no prior information that such an incident could occur in Vetland, but the level of threat “indicated that something like this could happen in Sweden.”
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven condemned the attack as a “horrific act” and added that the Säpo secret police were also working on the case.
“They are continuously assessing whether there is a reason to strengthen security measures and are ready to do so if necessary,” he said in a statement quoted by the Swedish TT news agency.
Sweden has experienced two terrorist attacks in recent years. In December 2010, two explosions rocked the center of the Swedish capital. Only the attacker died, but two other people were injured. The second attack took place in April 2017. A radical Islamist drove a car into a crowd of people on a busy shopping street in central Stockholm and killed five people. Police arrested him after he crashed into a department store and was unable to continue driving. In 2018, Uzbek citizen Rakhmat Akilov was sentenced for this terrorist attack to life imprisonment.