Sweden raises terror threat level as police hunt suspected terrorist

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Police in Sweden have launched a massive manhunt for a person suspected of wanting to carry out a terrorist attack, causing the country’s terrorist threat level to be raised to high.

Police said that a person, whose identity has not been released, is suspected of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism. The man, described by local media as an Iraqi man trained in Syria, is believed to have entered the country earlier on Wednesday. The Aftonbladet newspaper, citing an official source, said the man is believed to have fought for the Islamic State (ISIS) group while in Syria.

As a result of the manhunt, the Swedish Security Service has decided to raise its national terrorist threat level from 3-elevated to 4-high, the second-highest on a 5-level scale. “The decision to raise the threat level is partly based on the fact that our Service has received specific information which we must act upon as part of our counter-terrorism remit. We are currently concentrating fully on our operational efforts in this regard,” the service said in a statement.

The statement added that the Chief Prosecutor at the National Security Unit has initiated a criminal investigation into preparations to commit a terrorist offense, but further details were not released.

The threat is not believed to be related to last week’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, but the service noted that the attacks in Paris “are a possible indication of an increased capability on the part of ISIL to carry out relatively complex attacks” in Europe. The service did not clarify whether the wanted suspect is connected to the Islamic State (ISIS) group, which is believed to have carried out the Paris attacks.

Because of the manhunt, police across Sweden have increased their visibility, adding to increased vigilance that was called for after the attacks in Paris.

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