Sweden probes possible terror links in stabbing attack

Swedish authorities investigating whether knife attack in Vetlanda had any links to terrorism.

Ben Ariel ,

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Swedish authorities were investigating on Thursday whether a knife attack by an Afghan man who stabbed seven men and left three of them in critical but stable condition had any links to terrorism, The Associated Press reports.

The suspect, who was not named under Swedish policy rules, now faces several counts of attempted murder.

“There also was initial information in the investigation that led police to believe that they should look at terrorism as being the motive,” Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg was quoted as having told reporters. “It is not strange that when there are such a type of atrocity in Sweden that a connection to terrorism is also being investigated.”

Neither Damberg nor police would elaborate what that “initial information” was to prompt investigators to probe possible terrorism links.

The suspect, who was formally arrested on Thursday, had been waiting to see if he would be issued a residence permit, Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reported, quoting the Swedish Migration Board. The previous residence permit expired in November, it said. The Board declined to confirm the report.

The victims of Wednesday’s attack in the small town of Vetlanda, located 190 kilometers (118 miles) southeast of Goteborg, Sweden’s second-largest city, include three people who were critically wounded, another two who sustained moderate injuries and one who was only slightly hurt, hospital officials said, according to AP.

Police said there are five crime scenes in Vetlanda, a town of 13,000. All the victims were men and police said it's still unclear whether they were attacked at random or were connected in some way.

In 2017, five people were killed in a ramming attack in Stockholm. The attacker expressed sympathy for the Islamic State (ISIS) group before the attack and was sentenced to life for terrorist crimes.



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