A police van outside the Great Synagogue of Stockholm. File photo: Vilhelm Stokstad / TT.
A police van outside the Great Synagogue of Stockholm. File photo: Vilhelm Stokstad / TT.

Jewish community shuts down activities

"Jews around the world are a primary target for IS"
2:46 min

After advising with security services, the Jewish communities in Sweden canceled all its evening activities and police presence has been stepped up at synagogues, schools and community centres.

Representatives of Sweden's Jewish community were called to a meeting with the Swedish intelligence service, Säpo, on Wednesday night ahead of the announcement that the national threat level would be raised from three to four on a five-grade scale.

"They wanted to alert us before going public with the fact they would raise the national threat level and they wanted to make sure that we were prepared with the security measures we need to take," Lena Posner Körösi, president of the Council of Jewish Communities in Sweden, told Radio Sweden.

Posner Körösi did not want to go into details about the meeting and she did not want to say whether or not a specific threat has been directed at the Jewish community.

"As Jews, we are always more or less under threat and as a community we have had our own 'raised threat level' over the past few years," said Posner Körösi, stressing that IS have explicitly said that Jews around the world are a primary target.

Following Wednesday afternoon's meeting with Säpo, the Jewish community decided to cancel all evening activities, but during the day "it's business as usual," according to Posner Körösi. "We don't know yet what will happen tomorrow or after that. We'll take it one day at a time," she said.

The community now has additional security, with increased police presence at Jewish buildings, including synagogues, schools and community centres.

"Our members have been informed about the situation and we are in constant dialogue with police and security services," said Posner Körösi. She added: "It sounds terrible but our members are used to the fact that we are under threat. Of course there are worries and concerns, but actually not much more than usual."

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