“The four men were arrested with the help of the National Task Force, which is deployed in situations of urgency such as terrorism or hostage-taking.” “4 Suspects Arrested in Swedish Terror Plot,” by Christina Anderson and Nicholas Kulisch for the New York Times, September 11 (thanks to Alexandre):
LUND, Sweden “” Police in Goteborg arrested four people suspected of planning acts of terrorism there Saturday night, police said. Authorities also evacuated an art center there.
In a statement released Sunday, the Swedish Security Service said that the four men were arrested with the help of the National Task Force, which is deployed in situations of urgency such as terrorism or hostage-taking.
There was no evidence that the case was connected with the Sept. 11 anniversary and the Security Service said that “there currently is no cause for public concern.” Authorities did not raise the threat level and declined to provide further information about the continuing investigation.
Officials around the world are on high alert because of the anniversary. The arrests in Sweden were a reminder of the anger provoked in Scandinavia over drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, first in Denmark and then by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks in 2007.
The daily newspaper Expressen reported that the Roda Sten art center in Goteborg was evacuated and the surrounding area cordoned off last night due to a “serious risk to human life.”
Mia Christersdotter Norman, the head of the Roda Sten arts center, said by telephone Sunday that around 400 people were celebrating the opening of the Goteborg International Art Biennial when police asked her to inform the guests that they needed to gather their belongings and leave the building.
“There was no panic,” Ms. Christersdotter Norman said, describing the orderly evacuation. Police called her early Sunday morning and said that they had searched the entire building but had not found anything.
“They didn’t say what it was, just that there was a serious threat,” she said.
The center, located in an old boiler house at the foot of the Alvsborg Bridge, is a landmark.
The arrests were made based on the third highest level of suspicion, four being the highest, which indicates that evidence has been found, witnesses have come forth or police have been monitoring the suspects.
Sweden was the target of a terrorist attack in December when a suicide bomber, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, an Iraqi Swede who had studied in Britain, killed himself and wounded two others in the heart of Stockholm’s city-center shopping district two weeks before Christmas.
The Stockholm blasts came as a shock in Sweden, a country that prided itself on having created a stable and peaceful society.