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Questions over Gothenburg bomb threat

Published måndag 1 november 2010 kl 12.01
Police outside Gothenburg shopping center during the weekend

On Friday the police in Gothenburg issued a warning that a bombing might be planned for the following day. In raids on Saturday morning several men were taken into custody, but all but two were subsequently released. The two, a 28 year old and a 48 year old, were kept in custody, suspected of preparing a terrorist crime.

On Sunday evening they were released as well. The spokesperson for the security service of the Swedish police, Patrik Peter, told Swedish Radio News the two are still under suspicion.

But, he says, there isn’t enough evidence to keep them in custody. The investigation continues, Patrik Peter says, and these persons are still under suspicion.

One of those who was detained Saturday morning and released after questioning has spoken to Swedish Radio News about how what he experienced as a large police force entered his home and forced him to the floor in front of his wife and four small children.

He says it was six in the morning and they were asleep. They were awakened by a loud noise at the door, and then what he described as a large military force of perhaps some 15 to 20 police officers in the hall.  They kneed him in the back to force him to the floor. He says he was taken away after 45 minutes of humiliation in front of his wife and children, completely naked with his hands behind his head.

He told Swedish Radio News he was questioned about his relatives. All of those detained are related, and are Palestinians from Syria.

Anna Ramberg, president of the Swedish Bar Association, says the police are not supposed to use more violence than necessary, even for such serious accusations. She says that if the description of the police action is correct then it seems as if the police used more force than needed to.

The police have given very few details about the nature of the terrorist threat or what led to the detentions, or the release of the suspects. But Lars Nicander, head of the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College, says this is normal under the circumstances.

He says such information is often based on international intelligence, which is often fragmentary. And even if there is more information, it often has to be withheld to protect the source.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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