Multiple Swedish localities were subjected to what appears to be coordinated arson attacks on Monday, as youths set fire to at least 100 cars in and around the city of Gothenburg, the city of Trollhättan further north, Falkenberg and in the capital city of Stockholm.
By – Joseph Klein
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven described the attacks as “very organized, almost like a military operation.” He said he was “really getting mad” and that “society must react in a tough manner.”
No kidding! This is nothing new. Five years ago, for example, Sweden experienced days of rioting, with cars and buildings set ablaze. In early 2016, “Swedish police had to run for safety after being surrounded by an angry mob of migrants,” Express reported, “when they went to rescue a 10-year-old boy, who had allegedly been raped and 22-year-old Alexandra Mezher was stabbed to death by a Somali boy aged 15.”
Riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Stockholm in 2017, CNN reported, with vehicles set on fire. Also last year, a frustrated asylum-seeker embarked on a deadly rampage with a truck, killing or injuring several people.
There were 306 confirmed shooting incidents across Sweden last year, resulting in 41 deaths. These may seem like small numbers compared to the total number of shootings and homicides from gun violence in Chicago alone last year. However, it is not a small number for a Western European country.
Indeed, Sweden is now reported to be the second most violent country in Europe. Its homicide rates are “significantly above the Western European average,” Politico reported. “Social unrest, with car torchings, attacks on first responders and even riots, is a recurring phenomenon.”
At the same time, Sweden has become a haven for migrants because of Sweden’s past open border policies. More than 600,000 immigrants have flooded into Sweden over the past five years. Sweden is at the top of the list in Europe for admitting the most asylum seekers per capita, many of whom have come from the Middle East Muslim countries.
— SaveMySweden (@SaveMySweden) August 14, 2018
However, the evidence we do have points to the outsized impact that the influx of immigrants, many from terrorist-prone areas in the Middle East and elsewhere, have had on the rising crime rate. The same Politico report cited above, for example, noted that gang-related gun murders in Sweden, which have increased in number, are “now mainly a phenomenon among men with immigrant backgrounds in the country’s parallel societies.”
According to the Swedish publication Dagens Nyheter in 2017, cited in a Wikipedia article on immigration to Sweden, “at least 90% of all murders and attempted murders through gun violence in Sweden are performed by either immigrants or those with at least one immigrant parent.”
The Wikipedia article also cited a 2017 police report on organized crime in Sweden, which stated that “in most areas of Sweden with the highest crime rates (sv: särskilt utsatta områden) population share of immigrants is around 50-60%.”
Bojan Pancevski, a journalist who is the Wall Street Journal’s Germany correspondent and has also written for the Times, tweeted a dispatch from Sweden last January in which he noted that Sweden “is experiencing an unprecedented surge in shootings, bombings and sexual crime,” which “is mainly restricted to areas predominantly populated by immigrants.”
While Swedish authorities have been mum so far on who was responsible for the latest spate of arson attacks in and around Gothenburg and other cities on Monday, we do know that migrant youth groups have been responsible for mayhem in the past.
For example, last year, as reported in the Express, migrant youth gangs turned Sweden’s largest shopping center, located in Gothenburg, “into a ‘no-go zone’ as they intimidate police, harass girls and deal drugs openly.” Some of the gang members were from Afghanistan and Syria. It does not take a genius to figure out that such migrant youth gangs are most likely responsible for Monday’sarson attacks.
Sweden has tightened its immigration laws recently to some degree, but it may be too little too late. Thus, immigration, including its impact on violent crime in Sweden, is likely to be a central issue in this September’s Swedish election. Support for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats has been surging, which will likely make them important players in dealing with the immigration issue going forward.
Read more: From 2018/08/06