Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Swedish Connection

Recently, the online edition of the Jerusalem Post published a story titled “The Danish Connection” about terrorists inside Denmark who in 1969 were involved in plotting to kill Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. The April edition of the Swedish Jewish Chronicle (Judisk Krönika) reports about the Swedish involvement in Palestinian terror actions against Israeli targets.
In an article in the Swedish Jewish Chronicle written by Danish historian and journalist Bent Blüdnikow (page 6),  Swedes had already begun their involvement with Palestinian terrorism in the 1970s. There were, for example, early plans by Swedish Palestinians to bomb the Israeli embassy in Copenhagen and to kill the Chief Rabbi of Denmark.

The group that posed the greatest danger to the Jews in Scandinavia was Palestinian Ahmed Jibril’s PFLP-GC group which had its headquarters in Syria. This group had many active cells in Sweden, and its members who were involved in espionage and terror plans, had visited Syria to learn how to use hand grenades and machine guns.  As Blüdnikow further details in his article, some of the members of the group had during the 70-80s been sent to Israel for reconnaissance missions in order to take pictures of the Israeli coastal area and other important strategic locations.

During the 80s the Swedish foreign minister at the time, Sten Andersson was also a close friend of the PLO leader Yasser Arafat. Andersson sought to promote international recognition of the PLO and its goals even though the organization was actively  involved in international terrorism. A Swedish representative from the PLO office in Stockholm was in fact, deeply involved in terrorism and was consequently expelled  from Sweden in 1989. The same Arafat-led PLO which was supported by Andersson, in 1987 planned terror actions against Jewish congregations as well as airports in the Nordic countries.

On of the most dangerous Palestinian terror organizations at the time was the Abu Nidal group which was an independently-acting group, unlike the PLO which incorporated the PFPL and PFPL-GC. The Swedish Jewish Chronicle documents that some of the most dangerous members of the group lived freely in Sweden.

One example can be seen in the attack on the ship City of Poros outside Athens in 1988. During the Palestinian terror attack on the ship, which hosted Swedish and Danish passengers, 9 people, mostly tourists, were killed and 98 wounded; a number of them sustained severe injuries. It was later found that two of the responsible terrorists for the attack had been living in Sweden for some year. It also appeared that more members of the Abu Nidal group were still living in Sweden at that time. The terrorists also held and maintained a weapons storage site in the Sweden. The guns in the weapons cache were later proven to have been used in a terrorist attack at the airport in Rome where Abu Nidal sympathizers threw a hand grenade into an El-Al counter and opened fire on a group of people. 13 people were killed in that attack.  

There were also many people in Sweden that supported the Palestinian struggle for “liberation”. The Swedish left at the time did not differentiate between the state of Israel and the Jews; this would come to make Palestinian terror even more dangerous for Jews in Sweden. Swedish Jews were considered fair targets—as if they were Israeli combatants against Palestinian terror.

The Swedish support for the Palestinian cause was clearly showcased in the Swedish group “Palestinsk Front” (Palestinian Front). One of the most prominent representatives of the Palestinian “liberation” was—and still is—Jan Guillou. Gunnar Ekberg, a former Swedish intelligence agent who infiltrated the PFLP, reported in his book, Dom ska ju ändå dö (They Are Going to Die Anyway), that Jan Guillou went to Denmark’s international airport in 1969 to collect information about El-Al’s security systems on behalf of the PFLP. During that period the PFLP conducted deadly attacks against both Israelis and Jews around the world.

A young Jan Guillou

Guillou was also connected to another Palestinian terror group—the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFPLP)—and had trained with Palestinian guerilla forces inside Israel. In a 1969 article in the men’s magazine Lektyr, Guillou proudly tells the reader that he “took part in planning attacks against Israeli outposts”.

While Soviet-funded support for secular Palestinian terrorism ended with the fall of the Soviet Union, this does not mean Palestinian terrorism has ceased today. Today, a more radical, Islamist terror is prominent in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and it is probably indirectly funded by in part by the Swedish government. Today Sweden keeps a loose approach to immigration which is combined with a lack of oversight into the use of the foreign aid it channels to the Palestinians. Maintaining these policies as the status-quo, means that arguably, Sweden is still leaving open a conduit to aiding Palestinian-led terrorism against Israel.

Source: Judisk Krönika (Jewish Chronicle) available on:

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