A Swedish police chief is being hauled in front of the country’s Attorney General for daring to suggest that Islamic extremists should be deported.
Erik Nord, chief of Gothenburg police, said in a tweet: ‘Not that it would have stopped Friday night’s attack, but shouldn’t we be able to withdraw visas from those who support violent extremism?’
In response, the country’s Attorney General, Morgan Johansson, vowed to launch an investigation. ‘I will ask the police chief to explain himself. And he will,’ he said.
‘Those who have visas have gained them because they are in need of protection. There is always a risk that those who are being deported are danger of being oppressed [in their home countries].’
Speaking to the Expressen newspaper, the police chief explained that he did not oppose Muslims in general but believed that those who supported terror should not be given a taxpayer-funded home in Sweden.
‘We should function like at a dinner table. If a guest is behaving badly, they should leave and go home. Likewise, those who want to overthrow the government need to go home,’ he said.
‘It is appalling that we allow these men who are on the border of extremism to spread propaganda here and wave the ISIS flag. It mocks those who have fled to Sweden from ISIS violence in the Middle East.’
He added: ‘These people are not Swedish citizens. They live here and are supported by the Swedish taxpayers. Meanwhile, their biggest dream is to abolish the democracy which supports them.
‘Isn’t it reasonable, then, to say that they can say whatever they like but they can’t do it here indefinitely, not while being supported by Swedish taxpayers? That is the question we should be discussing,’ he told the Expressen newspaper.
A halfway-house solution should be devised for those extremists who face oppression or execution in their home countries, he suggested.
‘They are to be put on hold and should report regularly to a police station,’ he said. ‘They should receive some support financially until they can get out of our society, but they should not expect any more support from our society than that,’ he said.
In particular, Mr Nord identified a number of Muslims who are ‘on the border’ between legally expressing a controversial opinion and incitement.
They disingenuously position themselves just on the right side of the law, he argued, and this should no longer be tolerated after Friday’s terror attack.
‘There are those who are balancing on the border without making themselves guilty of any criminality. You should be able to revoke their citizenship,’ he said.
Mr Nord added that Friday’s terrorist atrocity showed that Sweden had entered a ‘new reality’ in which ‘sometimes we need to tell the world what we see.’
He added: ‘Not everyone who has come to Sweden is in need of protection. A lot of them have come because their relatives are living in Sweden,’ he said.
The Attorney General, Morgan Johansson, said: ‘We do have freedom of speech in Sweden, which means that one can have the right to have sickening views, but there is always a line once can cross when incitement is involved.’
Today, as Sweden held a minute’s silence for the victims, politicians demanded greater powers to monitor failed asylum seekers.
People whose applications for asylum have failed could be made to report to police stations in a crackdown on the estimated 12,000 migrants awaiting deportation from the country.
Workplace inspections could also be stepped up in a bid to root out those served with papers to leave Sweden and deported the back to their home countries.
The tough new measures are being demanded after it was revealed the alleged killer Rakhmat Akilove, 39, had been told to leave Sweden in December.
Like thousands of other failed asylum seekers he disappeared, and police admitted they had no idea where he was despite apparent sympathies to the IS terror cause bringing him to the attention of the country’s security services.
As many as 12,000 migrants have been issued with expulsion orders but have simply vanished within the large migrant population.
‘This is a wake up call for Sweden, ‘ said Paula Bieler, immigration spokesman for the Swedish Democrat Party.
‘We now have to look into the possibility of giving the police more powers. It is outstanding in a bad way that we have 12,000 people in this country who have been told to leave and we don’t know where they are.
‘The police should be given more powers. One way would to make the migrants reports to a police station on a regular basis. They could also have greater powers to carry out workplace inspections and deportations carried out.’
Bieler, and the leader of the Swedish Democrats Jimmie Akesson, want to see the Government take immediate action to deport failed asylum seekers back to their country of origin.
‘We have agreements in place with these countries that they should be taken back. They have tried to gain asylum here and they have failed. They do not have the right to stay in this country,’ said Bieler.
Akesson said it was a ‘scandal’ that the alleged killer had been allowed to remain in Stockholm.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Loven has already signaled a major shift in the country’s liberal policy towards migrants saying those who have been told to leave should not be permitted to stay in the country.
‘Everyone who has been denied a permit should return home, he said.
‘This makes me feel enormously frustrated. If you have been denied a visa you are supposed to leave the country.’
According to figures from immigration officials there are up to 12,000 people in the country who should have been deported.
The Swedish Migration Board believes the figure will soar to 50,000 by the year 2021.
Latest figures from the Migration Board show that 24,000 people were deported last year after Sweden accepted 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015.
The number of people attempting to settle in Sweden last year dropped to just under 30,000 after the country turned its back on mass immigration.
The conservative government, under pressure from the far-right Swedish Democrats, pledged to return failed asylum seekers to their home countries.
The fact that the alleged Stockholm attacker was able to carry on living and working with police unaware of his whereabouts has angered the Swedish Democrats.
‘It is terrible that it has taken the events in Stockholm to show the Prime Minister that there has to be change,’ said Bieler.
‘Even if there was not a single jihadist among those who have chosen to stay after being told to leave they should not be here.’
Akilov, who is from Uzbekistan, had been told in December that his application to stay in Sweden had been rejected.
He was given four weeks to leave, but disappeared from his last known address.
The 39 year old was living with four or five other men from Uzbekistan in a two-room sublet flat on an estate in a suburb of Stockholm. He was working illegally in the construction industry.
Police chiefs have been forced to admit they did not know his new address and didn’t have the resources to go looking for him.
Meanwhile WhatsApp faced extraordinary claims that the Stockholm terror truck driver used the messaging service to discuss plans for the attack before Friday’s atrocity.
An alleged transcript of the Stockholm killer’s WhatsApp conversation was published by Russian media and a respected Swedish news site, but later the original Twitter poster claimed it was in fact a series of messages from a Tajik ‘handler’ from Isis. This could not be independently verified.
It comes just weeks after WhatsApp faced criticism when it refused to give access to encrypted WhatsApp conversations sent by the London Westminster attacker minutes before his attack.
WhatsApp has been contacted for comment.
It came after more than 20,000 people took to the streets of Stockholm to stand against terrorism at a ‘Lovefest’ vigil last night.
The scene of the attack was carpeted with tributes. Police cars were covered in flowers and members of the public created a ‘wall of peace’ on which people wrote messages of hope.
In a further development this morning, a Belgian psychologist and mother-of-one who worked with asylum seekers was named as the latest victim of the jihadi atrocity.
The 31-year-old, Maïlys Dereymaeker, was waiting for friends from work on the corner of Drottninggatan and Olof Palmes gata when the terrorist struck.
She was the first to be hit by the speeding lorry and died instantly at the scene. It took two days to identify her mangled body from DNA samples.
Maïlys, who was from the small town of Lembeek near Brussels and had a one-year-old toddler, was in Stockholm for a well-deserved break with friends from work.
They were due to meet on the corner that afternoon. Maïlys had arrived early when the Uzbek ISIS suspect started his rampage.
The Belgian was a keen musician and was part of an ensemble in her hometown. ‘It is difficult for me to talk about her death,’ a friend told local media. ‘She played the flute and taught music to children’.
Maïlys was the second victim to be identified after Briton Crispin Bevington, 41, was named yesterday.
News of her death added to the international pressure on What’s App, which was used by fanatic Rakhmat Akilove, 39, to plan the attack.
In the WhatsApp transcript, a man said to be Akilov is apparently discussing a homemade bomb with an associate he calls ‘brother’.
‘Brother, now I have three boxes of matches, one tin of Acetone, a gas canister, five lighters, four lighters, 500grams of screws,’ he is claimed to have written.
‘The question is – how to make a bomb? By tomorrow night I’d like to find a big car and to drive into the crowd brother.’
Police have since confirmed that suspect Akilov had an explosive device beside him in the cab of the hijacked lorry as he mowed down pedestrians on Drottninggatan high street in central Stockholm last week.
The home-made device, which did not explode, appeared to match the one described on WhatsApp. It was comprised of gas bottles, chemicals, nails and bolts designed to inflict maximum casualties.
In the aftermath of the atrocity, it is even claimed that further messages were exchanged messages on WhatsApp. ‘I have driven over several people, the vehicle drove the wrong way. I am in the airport now, dead end,’ one message apparently says.
It apparently continues: ‘I have killed 10 in the middle of Stockholm now I have to get out!!!’
His associate replied by congratulating the murderer and celebrating the horrific violence he caused. It is claimed that he wrote: ‘I love you for the sake of Allah be strong.’
Mr Lundgren told : ‘We don’t live in a safe world any more. Terror is something we will have to live with for many years. We have let in so many people that we don’t know who they are. It is impossible for police to keep trace of them.’
It comes as police mounted a succession of fresh raids on addresses across the Swedish capital overnight.
A decontamination company in Sollentuna, 18miles north of Stockholm, was targeted by armed police.
According to the manager of the company, terrorist Rakhmat Akilov unsuccessfully applied for a job at the firm in 2016.
‘I met him once when he applied for a job. He didn’t have the right experience and wasn’t the person we were looking for,’ the manager said.
‘I think it’s a good thing that police are leaving no stone unturned and are checking everything.
‘He does have a connection to this company since he came here for an interview.’
Yesterday the Prime Minister of Sweden vowed his country will ‘never go back’ to recent levels of mass immigration after it emerged the terrorist who killed four people in a truck attack was a failed asylum seeker.
Stefan Löfven pledged to change his country’s liberal attitude, insisting the massive influx allowed during the 2015 migrant crisis would never happen again.
President Trump has telephoned Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven to offer his condolences and support in the wake of Friday’s atrocity in Stockholm.
The conversation took place at 11 o’clock last night, Swedish media reported. A US spokesperson also pledged material support to Sweden in the fight against terror.
‘We stand ready to offer any help that Sweden needs in investigating this brutal and senseless attack,’ the spokesperson said.
It emerged yesterday Swedish authorities had given Akilov four weeks to leave Sweden after his final asylum appeal failed in December.
He was being sought by police and immigration officials for deportation – but evaded them simply by giving a false address.
‘Sweden will never go back to the [mass migration] we had in autumn 2015, never,’ Mr Löfven said yesterday.
‘Everyone who has been denied a permit should return home.
‘This makes me feel enormously frustrated. If you have been denied a visa you are supposed to leave the country.’
He added: ‘Terrorists want us to be afraid, want us to change our behaviour, want us to not live our lives normally, but that is what we’re going to do.
‘Terrorists can never defeat Sweden, never.’