Stockholm police confiscated a bag containing explosives found in a Stockholm park late Sunday (21 August) night. They are continuing their investigation, they stated on Monday (22 August).
This incident occurred less than three weeks prior to an 11 September general elections in which crime will be a major concern among voters.
“The police assessed that the bag found at Kungstradgarden on Sunday contained an explosive charge,” said the police in a statement.
An initial investigation was opened, but no one has been taken into custody. The police declined to comment further on the possibility of a target or who may have planted the device.
A request for comment was not received by security forces immediately.
The explosive device was discovered in central Stockholm’s Park. This park was one of the venues for the annual Culture Festival that ran from 17-21 August. It hosted family activities, concerts, and sumo wrestling events.
The bomb squad disarmed the bag and cordoned off the area. According to police, authorities conducted a forensic investigation in the early hours Monday morning.
Erik Akerlund (chief of police for Norrmalm), said that “now all the components will being examined”.
“Only after a thorough examination at the national criminal centre will we be able to determine if the dangerous object is functional.”
Since 2010, Sweden’s terrorist threat has been at 3 on a 5-point scale – or “elevated”.
The country has been at peace for more than 200 years. However, members of its armed forces have participated in United Nations peacekeeping operations in Mali, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Five people were killed by an Uzbek asylum-seeker in 2017 when he drove his stolen truck into pedestrians on a street only a few hundred meters from Kungstradgarden. During his trial, he stated that he wanted Sweden to be punished for its participation in the global battle against militant Islamic State.
A number of other planned attacks were foiled by police and security forces.
However, in recent years, the attention of voters has been on the rise in gang violence, which has put Sweden at the top of European shooting-related deaths, relative to its population.
Numerous polls have shown that gang crime is the number one issue for voters in the lead up to the next election.
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