Police: Swedish school sword attack a hate crime

21-year-old Anton Lundin-Pettersson chose victims 'on basis of ethnicity,' watched Nazi videos before attack.

Tova Dvorin ,

Swedish police outside Kronan school, Oct 22 2015
Swedish police outside Kronan school, Oct 22 2015

A far-right terrorist who murdered a student and a teacher in a Swedish school Thursday watched Nazi videos before launching his attack, local media revealed Friday - including actual propaganda footage from World War II. 

The 21-year-old Anton Lundin-Pettersson disguised himself with a Darth Vader mask and a sword as he entered the Kronan school in Trollhattan, near Gothenburg, for the attack Thursday.

Unwitting students believed he was simply in Halloween costume, and a few posed with him for pictures seconds before he fatally stabbed a 20-year-old teaching assistant. A 17-year-old victim later died in hospital; two more students are in critical condition. 

Ludin-Pettersson's social media accounts reveal a history of watching neo-Nazi and Nazi videos, including those purporting a “multicultural project from hell," decrying the “Jewish media-control of Western civilization," and underlining “the importance of race in society,“ Swedish anti-racism outlet Expo reported. 

Police commander Niklas Hallgren told public broadcaster SVT Friday morning that his team was focusing on a “hate crime motive," as the attacker had selected his victims "on the basis of ethnicity." Trollhattan is home to a high immigrant population. 

The attack reflects a sharp rise in neo-Nazi activity in Europe, and in Sweden in particular. Expo revealed in March that neo-Nazi activity rose by 23% in 2014, most of which are not outright attacks but an increase in incitement and propaganda-spreading. 

"In terms of neo-Nazi activity and violence we are definitely seeing an increase," Claire Fernandez, deputy director for policy for the European Network Against Racism, told Newsweek shortly after the report was released. "Neo-Nazi groups have more visibility and support online and we are clearly seeing more far-right activity in mainstream society."