Two Afghan migrants, a man and a woman, are in custody after being arrested over the Easter holiday by the Swedish security police Säpo on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack in the Stockholm area.
Last week, on Monday, Säpo announced that the arrests had taken place on the morning of Good Friday during an operation in the Stockholm area.
According to a report from the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the two suspects have been described as a couple — a man and a woman in their thirties with Afghan citizenship — who were living together in an apartment registered in a municipality north of Stockholm.
Per Lindqvist, chief prosecutor at the National Unit for Security Cases, refused to divulge certain details in the case, but said: “I can only say that there were several different reasons that led to the intervention being made just then.”
The prosecutor said that the couple began planning a terrorist attack, which was to take place somewhere in the Stockholm area, on Jan. 2, 2021. Lindqvist noted that investigators had been watching the pair for a “long time” prior to the arrests, and that during their investigations, managed to procure large amounts of IT material as evidence, which could take through the summer to fully examine and analyze.
Lastly, Lindqvist added that the potential terrorist threat had been fully eliminated, since there were no more suspects involved in the case.
Both Afghan suspects have so far refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing. Neither of the suspects had been previously known to authorities for any prior criminal activity.
In March, eight individuals were injured in a brutal knife attack in Vetlanda — a small town of just 13,500 people in southern Sweden — by an attacker who was said to have shouted “Allahu Akbar”, a phrase commonly used by radical Islamic terrorists during attacks, as Remix News previously reported.
At the time, Sweden’s left-wing prime minister, who referred to the attack as a “horrific act”, noted that the Säpo security services were diligently working on the case.
In the same month, the former chief of Säpo, Malena Rembe, demanded that Sweden “take home all Islamic State Swedes”, in what has been viewed by many as a controversial attempt to repatriate Swedish citizens who previously left the country to fight for the Islamic State.
Days ago, Remix News reported that Sweden’s leftist coalition government — composed of the Social Democrats and the Green Party — announced plans to tighten immigration laws which, over the past decade, have allowed some 400,000 non-EU nationals to settle in the country of just over 10 million citizens.
As per a draft of the proposed legislation, migrants would receive three-year residence permits. Following the expiration of this period, immigrants will only be given a permanent residence if they meet requirements such as having sufficient income and proper command of the Swedish language.
The move made by the left-wing coalition is believed to be a direct reponse to the massive gains in public support that the populist Swedish Democrats — an anti-mass immigration, pro-Swedish party — have made in the past several years.