Swedish court remands teenage boy in custody over suspected terror plot

A 15-year-old boy is being held in connection with a suspected terror plot in Sweden. Another three men also remain in custody.

Swedish court remands teenage boy in custody over suspected terror plot
Eskilstuna District Court, where remand hearings were held. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Remand hearings were held at Eskilstuna District Court after five men were seized in raids in the cities of Eskilstuna, Linköping and Strängnäs in central Sweden last week.

Three men, aged 24, 25 and 29, and a 15-year-old boy were remanded in custody.

A fifth man, aged 23, was released but remains a suspect.

“I’m satisfied. As for the fifth, we can only note that the district court has made its assessment of the material, and we’ll have to look at it and move on,” prosecutor Lars Hedvall told Swedish news agency TT after the hearings.

The men all deny the allegations.

They are suspected of conspiring to commit a terror crime, although the Swedish security service said when they were arrested that an attack was not believed to be imminent. The suspected plot is said to have been in the works from June 2022 until their time of the arrest, with the 15-year-old only being involved from August 30th.

The men were initially arrested on so-called “reasonable suspicion”, which is the lower degree of suspicion in Swedish law. That was increased to “probable cause” when they were remanded, with the prosecutor saying the case against them had grown stronger.

At the time of their arrest, the security service said that the suspects were linked to international “Islamic extremism”, specifically the Islamic State, and that it was one of several cases they had been investigating “in connection with the high-profile Quran burning”.

Far-right activist Rasmus Paludan in January burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish embassy, sparking fury in Turkey and several Muslim countries. The security police said the incident made Sweden a higher priority target for terror attacks.

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Swedish police chief: ‘Kids are contacting gangs to become killers’

More and more children are contacting criminal gangs in Sweden to offer their services as contract killers, the country's police chief said on Friday, after three people were murdered in 24 hours.

Swedish police chief: 'Kids are contacting gangs to become killers'

Sweden has in recent years been in the grip of a bloody conflict between gangs fighting over arms and drug trafficking. That has escalated with internal fighting within a leading gang.

Apartment buildings and homes across the country are frequently rocked by explosions. Shootings, once limited to disadvantaged areas, have become regular occurrences in public places in the usually tranquil, wealthy country.

“We have a situation where children are contacting criminal gangs to become killers,” police chief Anders Thornberg told journalists.

“The criminals are ruthless,” Thornberg said, adding that the gangs also contacted people, often minors, and “furnished them with weapons and gave them the address in which to stage the attack”. 

Even the victims were often young.

This month, 12 people were killed in shootings and explosions, the deadliest month in the past four years in Sweden.


Senior police official Mats Lindström said he had seen many messages from young people contacting gangs for contract killings.

In August 2023, there were 69 people aged under 18 in custody in Sweden, against 14 in the same month two years earlier.

On Thursday evening, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson vowed to defeat criminal gangs with the help of the military.

“We are going to hunt down the gangs. We are going to defeat the gangs,” Kristersson said in a televised address to the nation.

“An increasing number of children and completely innocent people are affected by this extreme violence,” Kristersson said.

“Sweden has never seen anything like this. No other country in Europe is seeing anything like this.”