On September 3, a 37-year-old man with a serious criminal record was shot dead in a car in the Stockholm suburb of Hässelby Gård. His two small children were sitting in the back seat at the time, but were physically unharmed. A witness told the police that the youngest child screamed: "Help, help, they've killed my daddy!" A 23-year-old man, suspected of the murder, is now in custody, but vehemently denies the charges. Concern about safety is now growing in Hässelby Gård, which was the scene of another shooting in June, when two girls crossing the town square were wounded in crossfire.
On September 4, it was reported that the 17-year-old nasheed [hymn of praise] singer from Lund, who last spring ran away to join the Islamic State, has returned to Sweden. The young man supposedly got help from the National Coordinator Against Violent Extremism, Mona Sahlin, who has worked closely with his family. When he first arrived in Syria, he seems to have embraced life there. In a video posted on Facebook on May 10, he can be seen with a Kalashnikov over his shoulder, singing a nasheed dedicated to ISIS. He also urged others to follow his example: "I want to say that I wish you all could be with me here. It is just as perfect and wonderful as I had expected."
Now, he is singing a different tune. After coming home, he wrote on Facebook that he no longer supports the actions of ISIS. "Their beliefs are extreme ... and they ridicule the noble ulama (scholars) ... I do not support ISIS, among other things because of their behavior towards both Muslims and innocent non-Muslims."
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the 17-year-old's conversion, however. Journalist Per Gudmundson of Svenska Dagbladet questions whether it is really the National Coordinator's job to arrange for repatriation of ISIS combatants to Sweden: "Who is in charge of the security aspect? Anyone can pretend to be a defector." Gudmundson noted that the 17-year-old is still a fundamentalist and that his problem with ISIS seems to be mainly that they have caused disruption in the Muslim community and used violence against other Muslims.
On September 9, the local Gefle Dagblad continued its investigative reporting on extremist Muslims in the city of Gävle, and uncovered that Ali Al-Ganas, head of the Gävle mosque's dawah group (missionary group) hopes one day to have a passport issued by the Islamic State, and travel to the Caliphate. On a previous occasion, Al-Ganas celebrated two men who died in battle fighting for ISIS, an event that caused the mosque publicly to disown him and claim they would have nothing more to do with him. He is now, however, evidently responsible for the mosque's missionary work through Swedish United Dawah Center (SUDC).
The next day, Gefle Dagblad revealed that Gävle's imam, Abo Raad, is the leader of militant Islamism in Sweden. As far back as 2005, when two Swedes were convicted of financing terrorist acts in northern Iraq, Abo Raad was mentioned in the court ruling. Witnesses said that Raad urged mosque visitors to give money to the families of suicide bombers. The court ruling stated:
"The imam prayed for those who were about to blow themselves up in an attack on the U.S. military. A prayer rug was placed, where the mosque visitors could put money, which according to the imam would go to suicide bombers and orphaned children."
The day the article on Abo Raad was published, the paper received a bomb threat. A young woman called the police, demanding that Gefle Dagblad remove from their website all articles on the mosque, particularly those relating to the imam. However, no bomb was found and the Gävle mosque quickly denounced the threat.
On September 10, after reviewing their file on the IKEA-murderer, the Immigration Service stated that the man had displayed no signs of being mentally unstable before committing the double murder. The Eritrean citizen had been aware for a long time that he would not be allowed to stay in Sweden, as he already had permanent residency status in Italy, and had come to an appointment with the Immigration Service an hour before the murders. "He left the premises without showing any kind of aggression," said Kicki Kjämpe, Unit Manager of the Immigration Service in Västerås.
The indictment against the man was postponed until October 16, pending results of the psychiatric evaluation.
On September 14, a woman in her twenties was run over by a car outside a school in central Malmö. She sustained severe injuries, including a cerebral hemorrhage. The driver of the car turned out to be a 20-year-old Syrian refugee with several previous convictions. Before the accident, he had driven back and forth on the bicycle paths near the school at high speed. The suspect fled the scene, but was later arrested by the police and is now in custody. The police would not say if there was any connection between the suspect and the victim. The Syrian man had only been in Sweden for two and a half years, but has already been convicted of crimes four times: for theft, driving without a license and violating the "knife law."
On September 16, the trial of a 60-year-old man from Rwanda, charged with genocide, for murdering thousands of people in his homeland, began in Stockholm. The trial is being held in Sweden because the man has lived in the country for many years and is now a Swedish citizen. The District Attorney and police investigators have made several trips to Rwanda, and interviewed witnesses. The man, whose name the Swedish authorities did not release, has already been convicted in absentia in Rwanda.
Five crime scenes in southern Rwanda are named in the indictment, among them a municipal building in Muyira, where hundreds of people were massacred, and the Nyamure mountain, where thousands were killed when the Hutu ethnic group tried to eradicate the Tutsi minority. The 60-year-old man was identified as a local leader during the genocide.
"He ordered them to kill and he killed people himself, just like everybody else," said one witness, a man who took part in the massacre himself and is therefore in prison.
The witness stated that about 2,000 men, women and children thought that they would be protected in the municipal building. After three days without food and water, the killers showed up, led by the accused 60-year-old. "They said: Get in there, get to work."
"Work" meant killing Tutsis. When the killers got too tired, they were relieved and replaced by a new group. To avoid killing each other by mistake, they wore flowers on their clothes. In wiretapped conversations, the 60-year-old can be heard calling Tutsis "cockroaches."
It is the second time a Rwandan has been tried on a genocide charge in Sweden. In 2013, another man was sentenced to life in prison for genocide. Despite both these men living in freedom for many years in Sweden, Chief Prosecutor Tora Holst said that authorities are now making it clear that "Sweden is not a haven for suspected war criminals and genocidists."
On September 16, the trial (right) began of a Rwandan immigrant in Sweden. The man is accused of genocide, for murdering thousands of people in his homeland. He is the second person to be put on trial in Sweden in the past three years on charges of mass-murder during the Rwandan Genocide.
However, the authorities are well aware that several war criminals may have come to Sweden this year. The number of reports of such individuals has increased, and the police War Crimes Commission has been reinforced, as have the resources of the Immigration Service and District Attorney.
On September 16, three so-called unaccompanied refugee children allegedly raped a boy in the village of Hammarlöv, in the far south of Sweden. The suspects, who claim to be between 15 and 18 years old, were housed at the refugee center Maglarp Transit. One is from Iran, the other two from Afghanistan. All three have been remanded on suspicion of aggravated rape of a child (which means the victim is under 15 years old) and obstruction of justice, indicating that they threatened the boy with reprisals if he reported the rape. The police have been reticent about the incident, and mainstream media has not mentioned anything about the suspects being "refugees."
On September 18, employees of the Swedish State Railways (SJ) reported on how "refugees" plundered a train's dining car and threatened the staff. There were about 200 unregistered migrants on the train, which was travelling from Malmö to Haparanda in the far north of Sweden (where Finland-bound migrants go). Railway employees who spoke to the online magazine Fria Tider described how many of the migrants acted aggressively, and the atmosphere became so threatening that the staff had to lock themselves in. After the incident, Swedish State Railways ordered the staff not to talk to anyone about the migrants' behavior.
This was just the latest in a long line of incidents on board Swedish trains. Railroad employees have assured all "refugees from Syria" that they would not be thrown off any train if they lacked valid tickets. This has led to thousands of people claiming to be from Syria, in order to get a free ride.
On September 21, an internal email sent to employees working on the trains between Stockholm and Luleå was leaked, bringing attention to the seriousness of the situation. The email said that SJ has hired security guards to help staff keep order in the rail cars, alcoholic beverages will no longer be sold on board, tickets will now be checked before the passengers are let onto the platform, and leaflets in Arabic and Persian about the no-smoking policy will be handed out to passengers. SJ also wrote to the employees: "We know that you carry a heavy load out there. We have now set a limit for the number of support cars [carrying migrants and security guards] to a maximum of four."
On September 21, after a local official in Karlskrona -- on his own authority -- granted a building permit for a minaret, from which calls to prayer will be broadcast over loudspeakers every Friday, the members of local Sweden Democrats Party placed a raft in the harbor with the message: "No prayer calls in Karlskrona!" The city's governing Social Democrat Party claimed that the protest was a provocation, and insisted that Karlskrona should be a "welcoming city." The Sweden Democrats want the city's residents to be the ones who decide if they want to hear prayer calls every Friday.
On September 24, a 25-year-old Eritrean man was arrested for murder in Sweden. Two days before his arrest, he murdered a 20-year-old woman with whom he had some kind of relationship; the police will not divulge the nature of their connection. According to some sources, the woman was a relative. The suspect arrived in Sweden via Ethiopia in February 2015. The victim's three-year-old daughter, in the apartment when her mother was murdered, was found by the police when they arrived at the scene. Relatives had become concerned when the woman did not answer her phone. The little girl may have been alone in the apartment with her dead mother for over 24 hours, and most likely witnessed her mother's murder. The suspect has been remanded, and has admitted to killing the woman, but said he did not intend to kill her.
On September 28, the police revealed that they have about 17,000 deportation cases piled up. Despite the government's recent request for a clampdown on people staying in Sweden after having received deportation notices, more and more people are choosing to stay in the country illegally. The police say they cannot prioritize these cases "in the middle of an ongoing refugee crisis."
No one knows exactly how many illegal immigrants there are in Sweden, but 54,000 people have refused to leave the country after being denied asylum since 2011. The police have a pretty hopeless task keeping track, because they are not allowed to check people's identity cards based on ethnicity, skin color or religion.
On September 28, it was reported that the Immigration Service wants to rent an old shooting range from the Swedish Army in Rinkaby. outside the southern city of Kristianstad, to create a giant refugee camp that can accommodate 10,000 refugees. Huge Scout camps have been held there the last few years. In 2011, the World Scout Jamboree, with 40,000 Scouts from all over the world, was held on the Rinkaby field. At first, the Immigration Service denied that the camp would actually consist of tents, but since then, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has signaled that tent camps could become a reality if the stream of refugees continues unabated. The small village of Rinkaby has a population of 800 people.
On September 30, the daily Svenska Dagbladet reported that due to the housing shortage in Sweden, and with 2,000 new asylum seekers arriving each day, landlords stand to make huge profits. Aleris, one of the biggest housing providers for so-called unaccompanied refugee children, charges the government 60,000 kronor ($7,200 USD) a month -- more expensive than a nursing home with around-the-clock staff -- for an apartment that normally rents for 5,000 kronor (about $600 USD).
Ingrid Carlqvist is a journalist based in Sweden, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute.