FACT: Sweden’s Most Recent Attack Was Committed By Right-Wing Extremists Against Refugees
Mysterious Attack In Sweden Vindicated?
Donald Trump’s hastily-fabricated Swedish terror narrative was vindicated today, though I doubt it’s the vindication Trump himself prefers. On Sunday, the president told a roaring Florida crowd to “look at what’s happening (sic) last night in Sweden.”
Swedes watching the event were confused. They couldn’t recall anything unusual happening that Friday night. “Sweden? Terror attack?” tweeted former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt. “What has he been smoking? Questions abound.”
Let’s take a look at the contentious lines:
“We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
Trump would like his supporters to believe that, if they hadn’t heard of the imaginary attack in Sweden last night, it was only because the “very fake news” media collectively decided not to report it. It wouldn’t fit their purported pro-immigrant agenda.
Let’s take a look at that last line again:
“They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
Prepare to gasp. President Donald Trump is absolutely right. The Swedish are having problems with their immigrant population. And further, there was a recent terrorist attack that the media didn’t cover thoroughly—the details of which are a perfect counter to the narrative Trump has opportunistically seized. This narrative is borne of a resurgent far-right, anti-immigrant nationalism, of which Donald J. Trump’s election to the presidency is only the most visible byproduct.
Neo-Nazi Assault On Immigration Center Was Sweden’s Most Recent Terrorist Attack
Last month, three men suspected to be neo-Nazis planted a homemade explosive device at a center for refugees in Gothenburg. The Independent reports:
Three suspected neo-Nazis were arrested in January after a Gothenburg Asylum centre became the target of a homemade bomb attack, leaving one person seriously injured.
Security services said all three suspects had previously been members of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), a group that openly promotes racist and anti-Semitic views and has vocally opposed non-white immigration to the country.
The Swedish intelligence service Säpo said the incident on 5 January, which was also linked to two others in Gothenburg in recent months, appeared to be politically motivated.
Trump Team Assembling The Alternative Facts, After The Fact
Dare I offer a prediction? Trump and his long-suffering media surrogates will excuse the “last night in Sweden” remarks as true enough. Sure, it sounded like the president made up a February 17 terrorist attack in Sweden. What he was really referencing was a seven-year-old Swedish terrorist attack, one which injured two people and took place long before the immigration debate started (and indeed before the Syrian Civil War even began).
The incident was first connected to the Syrian refugee crisis, erroneously, during a Fox News interview with filmmaker Ami Horowitz—who said Sweden just had their first Islamic terrorist attack “not long ago”, during a discussion with Tucker Carlson about Horowitz’s own belief that refugees are sparking a crime wave in the country.
Trump himself confirmed as much in a recent tweet:
My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2017
So by “what’s happening last night”, Trump may have literally been referencing what he saw on Fox News last night about Sweden.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images