Swedish citizen arrested after Islamic State-linked terror attack in the Philippines
The attack occurred in Isulan on the island of Mindanao earlier this month at a market and saw seven people injured as a result of the blast, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports.
Filipino media claim that the Swedish citizen is in his 30, while the other three men arrested are citizens of the Philippines.
During the arrest fo the men, investigators found a shotgun, a fully automatic firearm, a homemade bomb, mobile phones, other bomb-making materials, and an Islamic State flag.
Erik Karlsson of the Swedish Foreign Ministry’s press service said the ministry was aware of the arrest of the Swedish citizen, saying: “We know about the media information that a Swedish man was arrested in the Philippines and is investigating this information.”
According to news website Nyheter Idag, the terrorism suspect is named Hassan Akgun and has a Turkish background. Islamic State has also taken responsibility for the attack.
Local Filipino military commander General Lieutenant Cirilito Sobejana commented on the case saying that Akgun was a member of a Swedish-based Islamic State-linked group.
Last year, Swedish researcher Peder Hyllengren of the Swedish Defence College noted that Sweden had become a base for international jihadist networks.
Hyllengren said that part of the reason for the networks ability to thrive in the country was due to political correctness in Sweden.
“You risk being identified as racist in a way that you did not see in other European countries. There, this question was as uncontroversial as the importance of combating Nazism and right-wing extremism. But in Sweden, it took a long time before we could discuss jihadism in the same way that we discussed Nazism for a long time,” he said.