Bombings in Sweden
|Detonated hand grenades in Sweden 2011-2018 (Total: 116)|
|Source: Swedish Television. 2018 figures up to 5 December 2018.|
Bombings in Sweden are attacks and sabotage using explosive devices by criminals in Sweden. The weapons used are weapons such as hand grenades and explosives intended for either civilian or military use. Legal authorities use the term allmänfarlig ödeläggelse genom sprängning (English: damage by explosive blast) and media in Sweden use the shorter term sprängdåd.
This crime's category is a very new in Sweden that was not even logged prior to 2017. In 2018 there were 162 explosions, and in the first nine months of 2019 97 explosions were registrered, usually carried out by criminal gangs. According criminologist Amir Rostami, on the hand grenades explosions, the only relevant comparison is Mexico. According to Swedish police commissioner Anders Thornberg "No international equivalent to Sweden's wave of bombings". These attacks occurs in both rich and low-income places. Swedish police do not record or release the ethnicity of convicted criminals, but Linda H Straaf head of intelligence at National Operations Department says they are from poor areas and many are second- or third-generation immigrants. The mainstream Swedish media are normally accused of not showing these criminal acts in their daily news, they excuse this as this would bring a feeling contrary to the Swedish immigration policy.
According to police authorities, many of the hand grenades used are weapons which originate from the Yugoslav Wars. According to police in Gothenburg and Malmö in 2016, the use of hand grenades by criminals in Sweden is a phenomenon which is unusual for all comparable countries both inside and outside the EU.
In 2019, Denmark, worried about the bombings in Sweden, introduced passport controls for the first time since the 1950s. In september 2019 police in Malmö issued a general warning to be vigilant for explosive devices when walking the city at night.
According to police the attackers are part of the same gangs which also increasingly engaged in gun crime leading to a wave in shootings. While there were 17 deadly shootings in 2011, there wre 45 in 2018. Ethnicity is not recorded and published for either suspect or convicted criminals, but according to police intelligence chief Linda H Staaf many are second or third generation immigrants, are members of disadvantaged groups and have grown up in disadvantaged areas.
Most of the attacks were earlier recorded in low-income suburbs in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm. In a more recent trend, more affluent districts also experienced attacks, such as a detonation in Bromma.
Timeline of noted bombings
According to a December 2018 Swedish Television interview with researcher Amir Rostami, Sweden has a high number of hand grenade attacks compared to neighbouring countries Denmark, Norway and Germany. While gun homicides were on the rise in the 2011-2018 time span, according to a study at Malmö University the number of hand grenade attacks had shown a strong increase in the same period and a total of 116 hand grenade detonations were recorded. Rostami said criminologists in Sweden don't know why there was a strong increase and why Sweden has a much higher rate than countries close by.
- 1 December, Malmö: Malmö District Court was targeted by a bomb attack which was powerful enough to destroy the entrance of the building and also damaged windows and balconies of nearby buildings in a detonation which caused no personal injury. As a result, the decision to place the court building of a volatile city in a residential area was questioned. By October 2017, the crime had not been solved.
- 12 June, Malmö: two men are lightly wounded after a detonation in the Seved area.
- 24 July, Malmö: a social welfare office in the south west of Malmö is damaged by a hand grenade.
- 5 August, Trelleborg: a social welfare office is damaged by a hand grenade.
In 2016 police forensic experts reported that the number of annual investigations had increased from 100 to 150 annually in the 2014-2015 time span.
According to Amir Rostami, 2016 saw a record number of hand grenade attacks.
- 1 January, Katrineholm, a grenade was thrown at the local police station. The entrance, several windows and three cars parked nearby were damaged.
- 18 October, Helsingborg: a hand grenade destroyed the entrance of the local police station. Forty windows were blown out in the explosion. Chief of police Dan Eliasson called it "an attack on society".
- 27 November, Uppsala: a hand grenade was thrown at a police car outside the local police station. No people were injured, but several cars were damaged in the explosion. One suspect was arrested.
In the first half of 2018, 75 bombings were reported to authorities and the total for the year was 162. Of the 162, 47 were in the Stockholm region and 56 were in the southern region which includes Malmö.
- January, Stockholm: 63-year-old Daniel Cuevas Zuniga had fininshed working at care home for the elderly and was biking with his wife to buy groceries. On the way he found a hand grenade, thought it was a toy and picked it up. The detonation killed him and wounded his wife.
- 17 January, Rosengård in Malmö: the police station in Rosengård was targeted with explosives. The facade of the building and several vehicles were damaged.
- 8 February, Stockholm: windows were blasted out and a car was damaged when a hand grenade exploded outside the home of a bank employee reported to be involved in uncovering fraud cases and assisting police in cases linked to serious organised crime.
In the first three months of 2019, there were 48 bombings in Sweden. By June 2019, Malmö and Stockholm had the most bombings. Up until July there were 120 bombings compared to 83 the same period the previous year.
Public broadcaster Sveriges Radio published a news item on 1 November entitled Unusually high workload for the national bomb disposal unit. The unit had processed 98 bombings in 2019 up until 1 November.
- April, Motala: a villa was subjected to a bombing. Two persons were in the building but were not seriously injured.
- 15 April, Malmö: a garage door was destroyed by explosives and splinters from the detonation wounded a 12-year-old girl.
- 7 June, Linköping: a detonating explosive device injured 25 people lightly and about a hundred apartments received damage to windows and balconies.
- 12 June, Malmö: an explosive device destroyed the staircase of an apartment building and damaged windows on a nearby apartment.
- 7 August, Landskrona: an explosive device destroyed the entrance of the Landskrona municipality office building.
- 14 September, Lund: an explosive device detonated outside a grocery store in central Lund. A woman in her 20s passing by was seriously wounded.
- 23 September, Borås: an explosive device detonated and damaged the entrance of Borås Tidning newspaper.
- 12 October, Bromma in western parts of Stockholm: the detonation blew out windows and damaged doors to apartments of a residential building.
- 17 October, three bombings within a few hours of each other in Stockholm:
- A residential building on Södermalm island. Residents in the building have connections to another building in Bromma which was bombed the previous week.
- A historic house (Swedish: hembygdsgård) in Vaxholm. The national bomb squad was called to the scene, but was diverted due to the two other attacks in the Stockholm area the same day.
- An auxiliary building of St. Afrems church in Södertälje was bombed again after two previous bombings during the preceding year.
- 27 October, Helsingborg: a single-family detached home was bombed and the detonation was described as "powerful" by police.
- 1 November,
- Night of 1-2 November, Malmö:
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- Kriminalstatistik 2018 Anmälda brott Preliminär statistik för första halvåret 2018 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention. 2018. p. 30.
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- Maddy Savage (12 November 2019). "Sweden's 100 explosions this year: What's going on?". BBC. Stockholm.
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- Handgranatsattack mot bankanställd
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