Sweden's 100 explosions this year: What's going on?
What a bewildering headline question. I have no idea. Let's read on.
By Maddy Savage
The journalist’s name seems perfectly appropriate for this kind of news piece.
12 November 2019
When three explosions took place in one night across different parts of Stockholm last month, it came as a shock to residents. There had been blasts in other city suburbs, but never on their doorstep.
Yes, explosions tend be rather shocking events indeed.
Swedish police are dealing with unprecedented levels of attacks, targeting city centre locations too. The bomb squad was called to deal with 97 explosions in the first nine months of this year.
Unprecedented means never happened before. So this is something new in Sweden. Ninety-seven explosions in nine months average out to about ten explosions a month – definitely not an isolated incident/one-off sort of thing.
"I grew up here and you feel like that environment gets violated," says Joel, 22.
Joel’s city is blowing up all around him, and the best he can muster is that he feels like the environment is getting violated. Feels?
The front door of his apartment block in the central Stockholm neighbourhood of Sodermalm was blown out and windows were shattered along the street.
Yes, that does indeed sound violating.
Who is to blame?
No clue. Maybe Joel.
This category of crime was not even logged prior to 2017. Then, in 2018, there were 162 explosions and in the past two months alone the bomb squad have been called to almost 30.
Okay, so there were no explosions at all before 2017. So, what happened just before 2017 to precipitate Sweden’s sudden penchant for blowing things up? I honestly have no clue.
"Bangers, improvised explosives and hand grenades" are behind most of the blasts, says Linda H Straaf, head of intelligence at Sweden's National Operations Department.
Well, thank goodness it hasn’t been nuclear bombs.
This building attacked in the Sodermalm area of Stockholm is not far from a playground and a school.
Comforting to know.
The attacks are usually carried out by criminal gangs to scare rival groups or their close friends or family, she says.
Wait a second. These attacks didn’t happen before 2017, so where did these criminal gangs come from all of the sudden? Were Swedes suddenly inspired to become mobsters after watching too many Martin Scorsese films on Netflix?
"This is a serious situation, but most people shouldn't be worried, because they are not going to be affected."
Joel had the door and windows of his building blown out. The other explosion happened not far from a playground and a school. No worries though – you won’t be affected because the mysterious criminal gangs are actually only interested in whacking each other and each other’s close friends and loved ones.
Teams have been sent to work with gang crime specialists in the US, Germany and the Netherlands, and they are liaising with Swedish military experts who dealt with explosives in Africa and Afghanistan.
People won’t be affected, but military experts with experience in Africa and Afghanistan are being called in. I guess the Swedish criminal gangs have been doing online research to see how criminal gangs in other parts of the world blow things up around parks and playgrounds.
Why are bombs going off in Sweden?
I thought we covered that already. Criminal gangs are scaring and whacking each other near playgrounds, parks, and Joel's apartment building.
"It's very new in Sweden, and we are looking for knowledge around the world," says Mats Lovning, head of the National Operations Department.
Look at the bright side - what a great opportunity to explore other cultures.
For criminologist Amir Rostami, who has researched the use of hand grenades in Sweden, the only relevant comparison is Mexico, plagued by gang violence.
Again, comforting to know. Also quite interesting that hand grenades in Sweden is now a research topic.
"This is unique in countries that pretty much don't have a war or don't have a long history of terrorism," he says.
Yeah, crazy. I guess the Swedes just went nuts with all the Ikea furniture they've had to assemble over the years or something.
Where are the explosions?
Didn’t they already mention they are occurring all over the place, especially in parks, playgrounds, and Joel's violated apartment building?
Most attacks have taken place in low-income, vulnerable suburbs in the biggest cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.
And who lives in places like that? Unemployed white supremacist Swedes, no doubt.
Malmo had three blasts in just over 24 hours at the start of this month.
Maybe it was a special holiday or something.
But more affluent places are now being targeted too. An explosion in the residential northern Stockholm suburb of Bromma last month destroyed the entrance to a block of flats, blew out windows and damaged cars.
Hey, but don’t worry because you’re not going to be affected.
A 20-year-old passerby was treated in hospital when a bomb targeted a grocery shop in the historic university city of Lund. And 25 people were hurt when a block of flats was targeted in the central town of Linkoping.
Wait a minute, didn’t Pipi Longstocking from Sweden’s CIA assure us people would not be affected?
Sodermalm is a former working-class area that has become increasingly gentrified. Vintage boutiques and vegan delicatessens break up grids of mustard- and terracotta-painted apartment blocks. The building targeted is opposite a park and close to a school.
Again with the park and school. Man, I am sure glad my kids won’t be affected. And I have a sneaking suspicion the gentrification has something to do with the bombings. I mean, there are only so many vintage boutiques a person can stand before they feel inspired to start blowing them up.
"Immediately afterwards, when police closed off the streets and I walked with my two kids to preschool, I got really scared," says Malin Bradshaw, who lives a few doors down.
She obviously didn’t get the “you got nothing to worry about” memo from CIA Pipi.
Apartment block was targeted in Stockholm
No arrests have been made and police will not comment on potential motives.
I wonder why no arrests have been made. I also wonder why the cops are being mum about ten explosions a month. Must be classified military information or something involved in all of this.
"If it was targeted then to be honest it makes us feel safer, because then the attack was not aimed to harm the public," says Ms Bradshaw, hoping it was not a random attack.
Yeah, it’s good to know Sweden’s mysterious criminal gangs aren’t specifically targeting you. This significantly lowers the odds of being blown up. Targeted explosion odds 1:2. Non-targeted explosion odds 1:200. Very reassuring, especially when your taking the two kids to preschool.
Who are Sweden's criminal gangs?
Finally! Yes, please tell us! Inquiring minds want to know.
Police say the criminals involved are part of the same gangs behind an increase in gun crime, often connected to the drugs trade. Sweden saw 45 deadly shootings in 2018, compared with 17 in 2011.
Okay, that tells me nothing, other than these gangs also like to shoot each other, and that they like to deal drugs, as gangs often do.
But why they have added explosives to their arsenal is unclear.
Maybe bullets are expensive or they just like boom noises. Or maybe they're actually waging a covert civil war against Sweden's people, one passively being encouraged by Sweden ruling globalist elite? Nah, that's too conspiratorial.
Swedish police do not record or release the ethnicity of suspects or convicted criminals, but intelligence chief Linda H Straaf says many do share a similar profile.
Of course not, because that would be racist, which is the worst thing in the world you can be. Nevertheless, I am curious to know what this similar profile is. Maybe it's the following - ethnic Swedish males aged 16 - 30.
"They have grown up in Sweden and they are from socio-economically weak groups, socio-economically weak areas, and many are perhaps second- or third-generation immigrants," she says.
Okay, so they're not ethnic Swedes; they're poor immigrants. We still don't who they are exactly, but we know they must be blowing stuff up to compensate for being in socio-economically weak groups. But I'm really confused - if these are second or third generation immigrants, why did they wait until 2017 to start blowing stuff up? Also, if they are second or third generation immigrants, why are they still in socio-economically weak groups? Surely they could have benefitted from the generous welfare and integration programs Sweden offers its immigrants, benefits and programs that are often far more generous than those it gives its own native, ethnic population.
Ideological debates about immigration have intensified since Sweden took in the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in the EU during the migrant crisis of 2015. But Ms Straaf says it is "not correct" to suggest new arrivals are typically involved in gang networks.
So it's not the new arrivals, but the old arrivals? Am I getting that right?
For many on the political right the explosions add fuel to their argument that Sweden has struggled to integrate migrants over the past two decades.
Right-wing nut jobs high on wrongthink, that's all that is.
"In the future the situation might grow even bigger and even more problematic," says Mira Aksoy, who describes herself as a national conservative writer.
Well, if the people blowing stuff up really are second and third generation, then yes, things will certainly grow and get more problematic in the future after the new arrivals become old arrivals.
"Since they are in the same area, they are in the same mindset. It's easy for them to connect to each other. They don't feel like they should become a part of Sweden and they stay in their segregated communities and start doing crimes."
So they don’t buy into the whole multiculturalism/integration "it's a small world after all" paradigm. That’s so problematic and so not nice.
This kind of sentiment has grown in recent years, and the nationalist Sweden Democrats attracted 18% of the vote in 2018.
Oh man, here come the Nazis.
But Malin Bradshaw believes crime levels are more to do with income and social status.
Of course! These criminal gangs would not be blowing each other up if they all had 300 square meter villas full of IKEA furniture and Volvos equipped with sweet sound systems blasting ABBA's greatest hits.
“If you're anti-immigration it's so easy to angle everything as just 'oh it's the immigrants' fault', but the problem goes way beyond that.”
Yeah, that would be too easy and too unsophisticated, but hang on a second. At the beginning of the article, the journalist stated that the problem only started in 2017. So how far beyond do we need to go here? Maybe the "way beyond that" actually points again at the ruling Establishment who have encouraged mass migration into the country knowing full well that such actions would create violence and destabilization. Nah, too conspiratorial, once again.
Amir Rostami says ethnicity rarely plays a big role in gang membership in Sweden. "When I interview gang members... the gang is their new country. The gang is their new identity."
I have no doubt Swedish gangs are very diverse and inclusive – a veritable spectrum of multiculturalism. That's why the bomb and crime researchers with experience in Africa and Afghanistan are in such high demand. Well, whoever it is, it’s quite obvious immigrants join gangs because Sweden has ‘othered’ them. They join gangs because Sweden makes them feel like outsiders. Bad Swedes.
Did Swedish media hush it up?
Rhetorical question - how do you hush up almost a hundred explosions?
Another important layer of this story is how it has been covered by Swedish media.
Now, now, I am sure they were all practicing fair and balanced journalism, just like this article is.
After last month's trio of attacks in Stockholm, public broadcaster SVT was accused of a leftist cover-up for leaving the story out of a main evening news programme.
Well, in all fairness, bombs going off near schools are not really all that newsworthy, especially when you've got to cover the latest tranny story.
"I think that they have not done a great job... I feel like they're trying to shrink the news," argues writer Mira Aksoy.
Shrink the news. I like that expression very much, but not the way it is applied here.
Swedish media did give broad coverage to this June attack in central Sweden
Well, bless their hearts.
Christian Christensen, a journalism professor at Stockholm University, was himself surprised that some programmes paid little attention to the explosions, but feels there was extensive coverage in the big newspapers and on local news programmes.
Ten bucks says Christian Christensen is actually a virulent anti-Christian.
"The problem is that Sweden is used symbolically as proof of problems with immigration, proof of problems with leftist policies - unfairly in many cases," he argues.
Sweden has transcended symbol status, in my opinion. Sweden simply is proof of problems with leftist policies. Full stop. But let's cut anti-Christian Christian some slack - 97 explosions might not actually prove anything, and they certainly should not be allowed to tarnish noble leftist policies. That would be unfair.
A recent study by polling company Kantar Sifo found that law and order was the most covered news topic on Swedish TV and radio and on social media.
Hardly surprising considering living in Sweden is now akin to being trapped in a Bruce Willis action film.
What are authorities doing?
Not much, apparently. As mentioned earlier, they barely arrest anyone.
Police say they are trying to track down the perpetrators, but only one in 10 of such crimes in 2018 has led to a conviction.
And of the few they do arrest, the vast majority go free.
The head of the National Operations Department has promised greater coordination with security police.
Why do I get the feeling this greater coordination with security police is only going to put regular, non-gang member Swedes under greater surveillance and scrutiny?
The home affairs minister has announced increased powers to search suspects' homes and greater efforts to break the culture of silence around gang crime.
But in Sodermalm, resident Anders Herdenstam says there has to be a greater focus on integration.
Yes, Anders. There has to be a way to get these gang members to put down the bombs and become treasured and useful members of the community – there simply has to be.
"I am not afraid for where I live. I am more concerned when it comes to developments in Sweden nationally."
There’s no need to be afraid, Anders because as CIA Pipi Longstocking said at the beginning of the article, the explosions won’t affect you.
As for the developments in Sweden nationally – don’t worry too much about it, Anders. The nation of Sweden will probably be wiped off the map in about fifty years anyway - if it isn't blown off the map first.