Friday, December 31, 2010

Swede Sentenced for Auschwitz Sign Theft

The Swedish neo-Nazi leader, Anders Högström 34, who has admitted to be the mastermind behind last year’s theft of the “Arbeit macht frei” sign at the entrance to Auschwitz has been sentenced to two years and 8 months in prison.
Högström plotted to steal the sign in December last year, and with the help of five Polish men, managed to steal the sign. Now he has been sentenced to 38 months in prison in a Polish court. The sentenced will be served in Sweden.
The stolen sign was found shortly after the theft in the Polish woods. It had been sawed into three pieces. The management of the museum at the Auschwitz concentration camp replaced the sign with a replica. The original sign is still undergoing restoration.
Högström was extradited to Poland in April this year to be tried for his crimes. He has become notorious in Sweden since leaving his post as leader for the largest Nazi party, NSF.
Pictured: Swedish Nazi party (NSAP) armband from mid 1930’s 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Denmark Arrests Swedish Terror Cell Members

Yesterday, agents from PET, the Danish security police, arrested five terror suspects, among them three suspects with Swedish connections. Two of the arrested were Swedish citizens;  Munir Awad, aged 29, and Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, 30 who were suspected of planning a terror plot against the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands Posten in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen.
The Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten has been under constant threat from terror organizations since a set of cartoons portraying the prophet Muhammad was published some five years ago. 
The two Swedish citizens who were arrested yesterday in the terror cell crackdown have been detained in Denmark.  A third suspect and Stockholm resident, Tunisian citizen Mounir Dhahri, aged 44 was also arrested. A fourth suspect, an 26-year old Iraqi citizen, has been released. An additional man, from Järfälla outside Stockholm, who had not been present in Denmark, was arrested today in Sweden.
Due to cooperation between the Swedish and Danish security police it was discovered  that the terror cell, which has connections to an international terror network, used both Sweden as well as Denmark as bases for planning the attack against the Danish newspaper. Security authorities have confirmed that the planned attack had no connection with Iraqi-born Taymour Abdelwahab, the Swedish suicide bomber who blew himself up in central Stockholm in the middle of December this year.
According to SÄPO, the Swedish security police, the threat had been recognized already months ago. Anders Danielsson, chief of SÄPO, stated in an interview:
- “We have had them under intense surveillance and have been prepared to make an arrest”
Munir Awad, who is one of the arrested Swedes, has been arrested twice before on suspicion of terror crimes but has been realeased with help of Swedish authorities. The first time was in 2007 in Somalia and the second occasion was in 2009 in Pakistan. The prior arrests were made because he was suspected of collaborating with Al Qaeda. Now Awad, Omar Abdalla Aboelazm and Mounir Dhahri are detained suspected of plotting a terror crime in Denmark.
The Danish security police PET believe that the attack could have been similar to the Bombay attacks in India in 2008, involving a shooting massacre. Jacob Sharf, head of PET states in an interview:
-       Our understanding is that the plan was to enter Jyllands Posten’s building and make an attack similar to the one in Bombay- killing as many as possible. This is a terror attack we have seen to be preferred by terrorists”.
At the time of the arrest PET found a submachine gun, a silencer, a handgun as well as live ammunition.
The Jyllands massacre plot, like the Stockholm bombing, comes in the wake an Al Quaeda audio statement attributed to Iraqi-based senior operative Abu Suleiman al-Nasser earlier this month. The statement released over the internet warned that the Stockholm attack was "only the beginning of a new era in our jihad". Suleiman called for NATO member states to "withdraw their troops from Afghanistan immediately and unconditionally," and to "stop their war against Islam." He also stated that failing to do so would mean that "you'll have no security" and that countries could "expect that we will strike at the heart of Europe."  Note that Western countries frequently state that they are not at war with Islam, yet Islamic terrorists seem to have no problem declaring war on the citizens of Europe.
The latest development of terror threats in Scandinavia clearly shows that terrorism has become a threat not only to the “provocative” Danish but also to Swedish society. Sweden seems to have thought that they were untouchable by terrorists. This has clearly been proven wrong—as was demonstrated when Sweden recently faced its first suicide bombing attack. Let’s hope that 2010 brings a change in the mindset of the Swedish security police and lawmakers. Only a change in understanding and subsequent changes in handling Muslim extremism may put a halt to terrorism—or at least make it harder for terrorists to use Sweden as a safe haven for terrorist activities.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why bomb Sweden?

The column below was origionally published in the Jerusalem Post and have been republished here with the courtesy of the author Michael Freund

Stockholm this week joined the long and terrifying list of Western cities targeted in recent years by extremist Islamic fundamentalism.
For the first time since the 1970s, the normally tranquil Swedish capital was hit by terror last Saturday, as an apparently botched suicide bombing, which Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said “could have been truly catastrophic”, tore through the central part of the city, injuring two people.
The perpetrator, who died of his wounds, is said to have been an Iraqi-born Swede who immigrated to the country as a child together with his family.
In recent years, according to various media reports, he became increasingly radicalized and may have been linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Moments before the blasts, which aimed to slaughter throngs of Christmas shoppers, the Swedish news agency TT received communications in Arab and Swedish, warning of unspecified "action."
"Our acts will speak for themselves," the messages said, adding that, "now your children, your daughters and your sisters will die as our brothers, our sisters and our children are dying."
They also urged Islamic "mujihadeen" to rise up in Sweden and elsewhere and carry out further attacks.
Despite the chilling familiarity which many of these details share with similar incidents in other parts of Europe, this latest assault by the forces of radical Islam left many people scratching their heads and pondering one simple question: why would anyone target Sweden?
After all, few countries have a reputation as being more tolerant, more open and more accepting than the Nordic kingdom.
Indeed, Sweden is widely viewed as one of the most liberal states on a very liberal continent, with extensive state-sponsored welfare programs and one of the highest levels of social spending as a percentage of GDP in the world.
Notwithstanding their Viking past, the Swedes have also swung open their doors in the past few decades, allowing significant numbers of Muslim immigrants to move to the country.
Sweden, for example, accepted more Iraqi refugees fleeing the chaos after the toppling of Saddam Hussein than any other country in the West.
In April 2008, the mayor of the Swedish town of Sodertalje testified before the US Congress and pointed out that his municipality with just 85,000 residents had absorbed more Iraqi refugees than the United States and Canada combined.
Muslims now constitute 5% of the Swedish population, with growing political and economic clout.
So the question remains: why would extremists hit Sweden?
The mainstream media was quick to offer the standard, and rather uninspired, answers, with the New York Times suggesting that the bomber was “disaffected” and that he had “struggled to find his place” in Swedish society.
That may or may not be true, but there are plenty of outcasts and outsiders in every community, and not all of them strap explosives to their bodies and seek to maim the innocent.
Other media outlets suggested that the presence of 500 Swedish troops in Afghanistan, or a Swedish artist’s 2007 rendering of the founder of Islam in the form of a dog, are what may have sparked the attacker’s fury.
But these explanations just don’t cut it. They all miss the point, one that has been driven home time and again since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
To put it as simply as possible: These attacks have little to do with what the West does, and everything to do with what the West is, and what it represents.
The haters, killers and extremists may seize upon this or that current event as a convenient excuse to justify their actions, but what fuels their extremism in the first place is a world-view that is bent on global Islamic domination.
A clue to this could be found in the threat sent to the Swedish news agency just prior to the Stockholm attack, which said in part, “Now the Islamic state has been created. We now exist here in Europe and in Sweden. We are a reality”.
In other words, the bomber felt himself to be part of a larger movement, one that is seeking not to alter Western policy, but the very identity and nature of the West itself.
So no matter how much some might like to believe that steps such as withdrawing from Afghanistan will appease or address concerns raised by the extremists, they are sadly deluding themselves.
If anything, the Stockholm bombing underlines the need for Western countries to adopt a firmer and more uncompromising stance against radical Islamic fundamentalism.
Sadly, Sweden has not always adhered to that line. Earlier this year, for example, after Israeli forces intercepted the flotilla which was planning to bring supplies to Hamas-controlled Gaza, the Swedish Foreign Minister summoned Israel’s ambassador to demand an explanation. Shortly thereafter, Swedish dockworkers declared a week-long boycott of all Israeli goods and cargo.
And in the fall of 2009, after a popular Swedish newspaper published a blood libel against the Jewish state, accusing IDF troops of killing Palestinians to harvest their organs, the Swedish government rejected Israeli requests to condemn it.
So even as they kowtowed to Islamic extremists such as Hamas, Stockholm simultaneously could not muster support for their more natural ally in the form of democratic Israel.
Sweden’s real “sin”, so to speak, therefore boils down to the old Midrashic dictum found in Kohelet Rabba that he who is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind.
By failing to take a firmer stance over the years against radical Islamic fundamentalism, and refusing to stand by those such as Israel who suffer at its hands, Sweden’s leaders perhaps thought they would spare themselves the terror being meted out to other European countries.
Last Saturday’s bombing in Stockholm proved just how wrong they could be.

The article can also be found in Jerusalem Post

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wiesenthal Center on Malmö: Jews Must Exercise “Extreme Caution"

In his speech to the recent European gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders in Brussels earlier this month, European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor outlined necessary actions to be taken to create a more tolerant Europe. Kantor stated that strong measures—beyond the current legal framework—must prevail against “hate, racism and xenophobia”.

In a meeting with President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, Kantor particularly singled out Malmö as a community where Jews are under such continual pressure that they are moving out.

-       “If Jews are being driven out of parts of Europe once again, this does not bode well for the future of the continent…if the Jews, whose presence in Europe stretches back almost 3,000 years can not feel safe then the new Europe has failed us.”

Well, another confirmation of Malmö’s role as the anti-Semitism capital of Europe was issued yesterday in the form of a travel warning for Jews to use extreme caution when travelling in  Malmö. Top officials of the SWC,  Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Shimon Samuels conveyed the message directly to Sweden’s Justice Minister Beatrice Ask:

“We reluctantly are issuing this advisory because religious Jews and other members of the Jewish community there have been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and harassment. There have been dozens of incidents reported to the authorities but have not resulted in arrests or convictions for hate crimes”, he added. “A contributing factor to this decision has been the outrageous remarks of Malmo mayor Ilmar Reepalu, who blames the Jewish community for failing to denounce Israel.  The travel advisory urges extreme caution when visiting southern Sweden. It is not connected to last week’s Islamist terrorist bombing in the heart of Stockholm.”

It should be noted that the Swedish Minister of Justice is already familiar with these issues as we reported in March and April of this year. Reepalu had claimed that he could not “legally” aid the Jewish community with security assistance as the members of the small Jewish community struggle to meet the staggering necessary expenses for security at Jewish community premises. It is obvious that the private security is necessary because the local authorities fail to maintain a livable level of public security.

-       “Dr. Samuels urged Sweden to strengthen the security of all Jewish institutions, adding ‘It is unacceptable in a democracy committed to protecting its citizens, that the Swedish Jewish community is forced to pay for necessary upgraded security measures to safeguard their lives and property’.

Reepalu basically threw the security problem to the national government, asking for them to handle the situation which he could not be bothered with. Beatrice Ask threw the ball back into Reepalu’s court, noting that Malmö had already received additional security funding from the national government.  And, in the meantime, nothing is being done to change the situation in Malmö, which is continuing to deteriorate.

And, as of the writing of this post, none of the major Swedish dailies have mentioned the SWC’s travel advisory. An online check of Aftonbladet, Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, and the Local came up with no reference whatsoever to the advisory.

So, there you have it. Malmö has now reached iconic status as the exemplar of a city edging toward “Judenrein” status. But so far the government and the liberal press have decided to ignore what is happening under their noses. You can ignore a problem, but it won’t go away. The SWC disavowed the timing as linked to the Stockholm bombing for the advisory, but there is a linkage. The same liberal Swedish ideology that sympathizes with extremists will end with two separate but related results: persecution of the Jewish population, and local terror.  You can be as liberal as you want, but justifying anti-Semitism and the wanton murder of citizens in the streets is not liberalism—it’s hatred and self-destruction.
Sweden’s policy of misguided sympathies and wishful thinking—which could be described as “be complicit with the illicit and you won’t get hit” –has hit the fan in the reality check. Swedish support for terror-linked organizations has not provided immunity against terror in Sweden’s streets. And as far as Malmö goes, unless the city begins to handle the problem of anti-Semitism, things will only continue to get worse—for Jews and for the rest of the population.

 By: Chanah Shapira

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Malmö’s Hate Crime Prevention Forum: More Diatribe than Dialogue

Recently BBC’s reporter Wendy Robbins started her research for a radio show which was to answer the question: “Why are there increasing numbers of attacks on Jews in Europe?” During her visit to Sweden she got a bizarre answer in the Malmö forum, which is tasked with trying to reduce hate crime, including anti-Semitism, in the city.
Robbins visited a number of cities throughout Europe to get a greater understanding of why attacks on Jews are increasing in frequency in Europe. She started her journey in Malmö where she interviewed Saeed Azam, a participant in the forum. This forum was established after statistics revealed that the number of hate crimes (such as anti-Semitism) had doubled during 2009. The idea was to provide a forum which will promote meaningful dialogue among the city’s diverse ethnic groups.

When asked about the Jews’ situation in Malmö, Azam answered that he wanted to do everything in is power to make Jews stay in the city and “even dance for them”. Why? His response was: since Jews “will kill Palestinians if they move to Israel”.

This is exactly the kind of response one might expect—given that Malmö’s Mayor Reepalu has stated that if Jews are suffering in Malmö they can leave, presumably for the State of Israel which he finds so reprehensible. Reepalu and his fellow Social Democrats support anti-Israel organizations with links to terror groups, and many, including Reepalu, fail to distinguish between Israeli government policies with which they disagree and Jews living in Sweden.

In fact, the main perpetrators of anti-Semitic hate crimes in Malmö are members of the Moslem immigrant population, and it’s clear that they are reading Reepalu’s hints. Reepalu in effect has signaled that it’s “understandable” to take out anti-Israel anger on the local Jews. The forum is just a political piece of window-dressing.

As long as the mayor continues to imply that Malmö’s Jews are responsible for the attacks directed against them, the “dialogue” in the forum will consist of the kind of hate-filled diatribes that Azam freely offers to BBC reporter Robbins. It’s no wonder that Robbins began her research right in Malmö, the anti-Semitism capital of Europe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First Suicide Bomber Attack in Sweden

Aftonbladet's detailed picture of the actual suicide bomber
Yesterday Sweden got first-hand experience with the suicide bomber phenomenon when a man blew himself up in central Stockholm wounding two. Initial reports stated that a car in central Stockholm exploded around 17:00 local time; shortly after that a man was found dead close to the exploded car.  Signs indicate that the attacker attempted to blow himself up following the first exposion.
Gas canisters were later found in the car, and according to investigators it appears that “the explosion was carried out in order to attract police and rescue personnel to the scene”. In other words, the attacker could have meant to cause two attacks, the first targeting shoppers, and the second targeting police and ambulance personnel.
A backpack was found near the dead man that was full of nails—intended to cause more severe injuries—as well as six pipe bombs. Pascal, a medic which who was out shopping with his wife, heard the explosion and ran to the scene. In an interview he states that he “removed the Palestinian scarf from the man’s face and tried to resuscitate him”, yet without success. According to Pascal “it looked like the man had carried something which had exploded against his stomach”. It was in fact one of the six pipe bombs that killed the bomber.
Before the terror attack was carried out a sound file threat was sent to Swedish news agency TT as well as SÄPO. The recording was made by a man stated who that “it is time to strike”—with the justification that the prophet Muhammad has been humiliated  and that there is an ongoing war being waged by the West against Islam.

The man also encouraged other Muslims to “stop sucking up and humiliate themselves”. The bomber apologized to his family for lying about a trip he had made to the Middle East. In the recording he confessed:  “I never went to the Middle East to work or make money, I went for Jihad”.

In the recording the man proclaimed his love for his children and asked his wife to kiss them from him. At the end the man stated that it is Swedish people, Lars Vilks and his Muhammad Cartoons, the Swedish soldiers in Afghanistan and the Swedish people’s silence, which are the reasons for his act.  One of his concluding statements was: “So shall your children, daughters, brothers and sisters die like our brothers and sisters and children die” and lastly he repeated that “the mujahidin should not forget him and should pray for him”. The audio file is in both Swedish and Arabic and is available here:
 According to the Swedish Security Police (SÄPO) which deals with counter-terrorism in Sweden, there is still no conclusive evidence that the man has any connections to known terrorist organizations. 
Yet, according to Magnus Ranstorp, Sweden’s leading terrorist expert and professor at the Defense College in Stockholm, the trips made to London and Jordan seem to point towards a distinct possibility that the man was not alone in planning the act. This belief is further strengthened by the advanced pipe bombs found at the scene and the intended dual explosion. Multiple explosions have been carried out in the past, one example being the notorious  Palestinian attack in Jerusalem’s Zion Square in 2001 which killed more than a dozen people and left many more maimed and injured, including rescue personnel. It may turn out that the style of the attacks and the Palestinian-style scarf were less than coincidental.
The initial car bomb
Today Sweden’s Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, held a press conference in response to the terror attack. According to Reinfeldt, speaking at 13:00 local time, there was “no need to believe that the car blast and the man necessarily had any linkage” He also emphasized that what had happened is “undesirable and unacceptable. It is something that an open society such as Sweden cannot accept”. He also stressed that the Swedish people “shouldn’t come to hasty conclusions”, this even though much prior to Reinfeldt’s statement foreign minister Carl Bildt Twittered that Sweden had been struck by a terror attack . 
The man is still unidentified but is believed to be a man from the town of Tranås in Southern Sweden. The man was in fact the registered owner of the car which exploded minutes before the man himself exploded. On Sunday police were reported as searching the man’s apartment in Tranås and they were 95% certain that the man who owned the car and the suicide bomber where the same man.
According to Sweden’s English language daily, the Local, a Facebook page believed to belong to the bomber indicated that he supported violent struggle. He had also posted numerous videos relating to the Iraq war, the war in Chechnya and the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. According to the Local, “His favorite pages on Facebook included ‘Yawm al-Qiyaamah’, the Islamic ‘Day of Resurrection’. The page’s signature image features London’s Tower Bridge being engulfed in flames and floods. Another favorite page was the ‘Islamic Caliphate State’.”

The man was apparently also active on Muslim dating sites where he was looking for a second wife. In a posted message he claims that he was born in Iraq and moved to Sweden in 1992.
Despite Reinfeldt’s hesitation, it is clear that Sweden has experienced its first attack by  Muslim Jihadist suicide bomber. Swedish Police currently believe that the man’s bomb may have detonated too early—which is one of the reasons as to why only two people sustained light injuries as a result of the blast. The man exploded in one of the most crowded streets in central Stockholm, targeting Stockholm’s major shopping district in the evening when many Swedes were out Christmas shopping. It is quite clear that the man aimed at causing as much “collateral damage” as possible.
Now more than ever, it is time for Sweden to wake up and realize that Sweden is not safe from the terrorist phenomenon which plagues the world today. In fact, no country which harbors a large unassimilated Muslim population is immune from these attacks.
Hopefully, as a result of this failed terror attack Swedish leaders who have been in denial will now see the threat and react appropriately. It’s time to take active steps towards halting Swedish governmental financial support for terror-linked organizations, and to stop providing a safe haven for terrorists in Sweden.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Anti-Semitic Attack in Göteborg

The Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFCA) recently reported that a WIZO (Women's International Zionist Organization) bazaar held in Sweden’s second largest city, Göteborg, was the target of an anti-Semitic verbal assault. This was yet another hate crime incident.

The WIZO bazaar is an annual event held in support of Israel and is run by the ladies of the local WIZO chapter. The CFCA noted that the event is “well-known and advertised in the local newspaper”. While people were lining up to get in to the Jewish Community center, a car with three Middle Eastern men pulled up in front of the crowd and shouted "Dö, jävla judar dö" (Die, f***king Jews die).

This extremely public display of anti-Semitism—which constituted yet another incident of hate crime—has not been reported in the Swedish media. The fact that this kind of hate speech and intimidation was of no interest, and in no way constituted “news” arguably shows that harassment of Jews is of no interest to the Swedish public—it’s just business as usual.