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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Terror suspects arrested in Scandinavia

A Swede and a Dane were arrested last week on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack,
Bosnian police said Friday they arrested a Swede, a Turk and a local suspected of being involved in preparing an unspecified terrorist attack.

The trio, who were detained on Thursday, were "suspected of preparing a terrorist action," said Robert Cvrtak, the spokesman for the interior ministry of the Muslim-Croat half of Bosnia, without elaborating.
Actually that report doesn't mention the Dane, but we'll get to that. At the time I got the impression the target was a Western embassy or NATO interest in Bosnia
The British and US embassies here, which were closed for a few days after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States due to an undisclosed threat, were working normally on Friday.

Earlier this month a NATO commander in Bosnia said the alliance was closely monitoring about 10 terror suspects in the former Yugoslav republic.
But in a new article that is no longer mentioned and we learn a bit more about the plans
Police in Sarajevo have said that the Swede held in the city on terror charges was to be a suicide bomber. On Thursday Danish police arrested four men who they suspect were to have helped him.

"In the apartment where he lived, a videotape was found on which the Swede and the other guy prayed to Allah for forgiveness, because they were going to blow themselves up," said journalist Mirsad Fasic at the Sarajevo paper, Slobodan Bosna.

In its latest edition the paper, which says it has sources within the police, wrote that the Swede and the Turkish man who is also being held had lived in Sarajevo for a month and had moved between three apartments.

As well as the video, police are said to have discovered 30 kilos of explosives, a belt for carrying out a suicide attack and weapons in a raid.
The Swede is thought to be Serbian and not much is said about the Dane, apart from him having three accomplices from the Middle East,
The 18 year old Swede comes from a town in the west of Sweden, where he has been registered since the summer. He is thought to have been born in Serbia and moved to Sweden with his parents at the beginning of the 1990s.

Slobodan Bosna reported that it was Sweden's security police, Säpo, which tipped off their Bosnian counterparts. So far Säpo has only confirmed that an 18 year old Swede is in jail in Bosnia.

"Other than that we have no comment," said information officer Jacob Larsson, who refused to say if there has been an investigation in Sweden into the 18 year old or if he has had contact with the suspected terrorists, all aged between 16 and 20, in Denmark. One of those is a Danish citizen and three come from unspecified countries in the Middle East.

"It is my firm belief that there is strong evidence that they were in the process of planning an act of terrorism," said police chief Jörn Bro in Glostrum, Denmark, to the news agency Ritzau.
But what about the target? It doesn't look like somewhere in Bosnia anymore:
According to the police, the terror attack was to take place "somewhere in Europe and in the near future". Part of the material seized indicated that it was to be a suicide attack.
So where would that be? Almost anywhere in the EU presumably, since these guys are EU citizens and can freely travel round these countries. Sweden seems unlikely, but Denmark is definitely not out of the question with much worse Islamic problems. Glad I don't live in a Scandinavian country with chaps like that running round! Oh wait...

The complacency shown in these sleepy little countries is remarkable. They like the idea of being in the EU and freely tripping round the continent, but seem oblivious to the fact that it also means an awful lot of other people can do the same. And there are some easy targets in these middle size cities reachable with a longish drive from one of the more porous EU borders to the east. The allure of the big cities like London may hold the murderers attention for a while, but when it gets harder there then I won't be feeling to complacent living in a big port and trade city.

Posted by Chefen | 10/29/2005 07:41:00 am