This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Refugees With Deadly Baggage

"Now, when I think of the future, I am afraid. I am afraid for Europe."
Paulus Borisho, 55, Kebab shop owner, Stockholm Sweden 

"I don't know of any Western country with a similar use of hand grenades. Our hypothesis is that they are used to send a message. Not so much as a weapon, as a tool for intimidation."
"You don't need perfect aim. You are not trying to kill a particular person."
Manne Gerell, lecturer in criminology, Malmo University

Recently a 63-year-old Stockholm resident on his way home from work in the evening, cycling through a Stockholm suburb stopped momentarily when he saw a round object on the pavement, and reached down to lift it. That would be his final act in life for what he stopped to observe at closer hand killed him and also incidentally his wife, who had been with him. Manufactured for the Yugoslav national army, taken by paramilitaries during the 1990s civil war, it was a M-75 hand grenade, a long way from that distant conflict, ending up in Stockholm.

These are plastic-explosives-packed grenades, stuffed with 3,000 steel balls each, meant for attack on enemy bunkers. And they're cheap to acquire in Sweden, the going price is about $12.50 a grenade. Who might be interested in acquiring them? Well, gang members, it seems. In nice, civil, socialized and peaceful Sweden. Who might imagine it! Gang-related assaults and shootings are on the increase. And though Sweden balks at the merest suggestion of areas of the country that are 'no-go zones', the police speak of neighbourhoods "marred by crime, social unrest and insecurity".
Malmö police worry about wave of violence
Swedish police investigate a hand grenade attack in Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
"We have lost the trust from the people who lived and worked in this area", Gunnar Appelgren, specialist in gang violence as a police superintendent said. Those neighbourhoods that are not 'no-go zones' but rather areas that crime, social unrest and insecurity have marked are on the rise, and they are linked to immigration. It is low-income suburbs which have been blighted by growing gang violence where hospitals have been reporting armed confrontations in emergency rooms, where school administrations claim threats and weapons are now commonplace.
Police officer Ted Eriksson is treated in Stockholm last summer after he was stabbed in the neck by an asylum seeker
Police officer Ted Eriksson is treated in Stockholm last summer after he was stabbed in the neck by an asylum seeker     LISA MATTISSON/TT NEWS AGENCY

Two 20-year-old men from Uppsala were arrested on charges recently that they tossed grenades at a bank employee's home. A new sophistication in intimidation techniques, it would seem. Rival gangs seem to target one another with grenades. Likely accounting for the one lying in the street at night that killed that unfortunate couple simply bicycling back to their home, never suspecting it would be their last cycle together. With deadly events such as this, little wonder that people no longer trust that their local police can deliver security.

On the wall in Mr. Appelgren's Stockholm Police Headquarters office hangs a chart indicating the increase in the prevalence of hand grenades. In 2015, 45 grenades were seized by police, ten others detonated in the commission of a crime, and by the following year those numbers rose to 55 and 35 respectively. Police officials largely claim a failure of integration has led to increased gang violence. A recent study of a Swedish street gang concluded 24 percent of its membership to be ethnic Swedes; 42 percent born in Sweden (emanating elsewhere by heritage).

When the Bosnian war ended, paramilitaries were required under the peace agreement to decommission arsenals. the arms in possession of sellers in Bosnia and Serbia making their way to the diaspora in Sweden through active networks that throw in excess grenades as a free bonus with the purchase of AK-47s, explained Mr. Appelgren. Explaining just why the street price of a hand grenade is 100 kroner ($12.50) in Sweden.

Sweden: Grenade damages to police van

Kebab shop owner Mr. Borisho found asylum in Sweden escaping war as a commando in a Lebanese militia -- who had himself a familiarity with handling grenades. He never imagined grenades ending up in the street close to his shop. The 160-kilometer Oresund Bridge linking Malmo to Denmark is the entry point for illegal weapons. Vehicle searches are desultory; personnel are in short supply and until recently hand grenades had the classification of "flammable products", not weapons.

Two 18-year-old men have been arrested in the investigation of that grenade death of the two cyclists, originally from Chile. The area of Stockholm they lived in, Varby Gard, has its own street gang, the Varby Gard Network, whose membership is comprised of first- and second-generation immigrants from Finland, the Balkans and Africa. Immigrants and Refugees have transformed this once-Christian heritage nation rather considerably.

This nation of close to ten million people has almost two million derived of immigrants and refugees.
Immigrants and refugees to Sweden come from many nations of the world, included among them nations which form a very large proportion of those now residing in that country; from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. A dynamic admixture, to be sure, of polarized and polarizing societies whose religion, culture, heritage and politics is so unlike Sweden's and quite transformative.

But, evidently, no "no-go zones" whatever.

The blue line represents refugees, the red line immigrants

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