Bodyguards doubled since Anna Lindh murder
Ten years ago today Sweden’s Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was stabbed in a Stockholm department store where she was shopping alone. She died the following day.
Today the Swedish Intelligence Service assigns more than twice the number of body guards to politicians and the royal family compared to a decade ago, reports Swedish Radio News.
“We have a very different security service compared to 2003, with new ways of organizing personal protection,” said Niklas Åström deputy head of personal protection at the Swedish Intelligence Service, Säpo.
“It was really that event which has shaped personal protection work the most.”
Following the murder Säpo underwent a re-organization and a doubling of the numbers of protection officers from 60 to 130.
When she was killed, Anna Lindh was a very familiar face in Sweden as her photo emblazoned pro-EMU referendum campaign posters around the country. The fact that she did not have closer protection was criticised after her death.
“Today we have a different of measuring the potential threat. We also take into account how media exposure can influence the threat level,” said Åström.
Eva Franchell was with Anna Lindh in NK department store when she was attacked by Mijailo Mijailovic, who later said he stabbed her because he hated politicians.
Franchell told Swedish Radio that the murder has had a long lasting effect on Swedish politics.
“Anna probably would have become the Social Democratic Party leader and possibly prime minister,” she said.
“That would have allowed the Social Democrats to avoid ten years of internal battles.”