Sweden raises terror threat level after Quran desecrations

Sweden raises terror threat level after Quran desecrations

Move taken due to attack threats, which could remain for a long time, says security service chief

By Atila Altuntas

STOCKHOLM (AA) – Sweden on Thursday raised its terrorism alert level from three to four on a five-level scale, reflecting a "high threat" amid a string of public desecrations of the holy Quran.

Recent months have seen repeated acts of Quran burning and desecration by Islamophobic figures or groups, especially in northern European and Nordic countries, drawing widespread condemnation.

"The Director General of the Swedish Security Service has taken the decision to raise the terrorist threat level from Elevated to High. The reason for this decision is the deteriorated situation with regard to attack threats to Sweden, and the assessment that the threat will remain for a long time," SAPO, Sweden's security service, said in a statement.

"Sweden has gone from being considered a legitimate target for terrorist attacks to being considered a prioritized target," said SAPO chief Charlotte von Essen.

She added that government agencies and other societal actors must continue to take measures to prevent and reduce the threat of terrorist attacks and make Sweden a "safer place."


*Writing by Nur Asena Erturk in Ankara

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