On Thursday, Swedish police arrested two people on suspected terrorist crimes for a murder carried out in Syria in 2013. A third person has been arrested in absentia, according to a press release from the Swedish Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten). The suspects are 30- and 32-year-old Swedish citizens and residents of Göteborg, according to prosecutor Ronnie Jacobsson. The arrests were carried out by several law enforcement agencies, including the security service SÄPO, the regional police force and Sweden’s National Task Force, reports Expressen. The Minister for Home Affairs, Anders Ygeman (S), said the arrests were “very encouraging” and added that the case was the first time people suspected of travelling abroad to commit terrorism would be tried by Swedish courts. Ygeman also called for stronger legislation to stop Swedes from travelling to other countries to participate in terror organisations: “In the Riksdag this autumn, we will come back with proposals on criminalising the organising, recruitment and funding of terrorism trips,” he told Dagens Nyheter.
International media reported on yesterday’s arrests. Deutsche Welle quotes SÄPO spokesperson, Sirpa Franzen, who said that the investigation is at a very sensitive state: “We will undertake intense investigation work, and more information and details of the crime will come during the proceedings.” Reuters write that in a Reuters interview in March, the head of security police (SÄPO) said about 300 Swedes had travelled from Sweden to Syria and Iraq to fight in groups linked to al Qaeda or Islamic State, of whom around 35 had been killed. Around 80 had returned to Sweden.