Iran Recruiting Members Of Swedish Gangs To Target Israel, Says Sweden – NDTV

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The gang violence was originally linked to control over the drugs market. (Representational)

Stockholm:

Iran is recruiting members of Swedish criminal gangs, some of them children, as proxies to commit “acts of violence” against Israel and other states and groups in Sweden that Tehran considers a threat, Sweden’s intelligence agency said Thursday.

The announcement came two weeks after nighttime gunfire was reported outside Israel’s embassy in Stockholm and three months after police found an unexploded grenade lying on the grounds of the Israeli compound.

“The Swedish Security Police notes that the Iranian regime is using criminal networks in Sweden to carry out acts of violence against other states, groups or people in Sweden that it considers a threat,” the intelligence service, commonly known as Sapo, said in a statement.

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It cited in particular “Israeli and Jewish interests, targets and operations in Sweden”.

“Iran has previously used violence in other countries in Europe in a bid to silence critical voices and perceived threats against its regime,” it said.

“Our assessment is that this is a regional conflict that has spread globally and now also includes Sweden as an arena for this conflict,” the head of Sapo’s counterintelligence service Daniel Stenling told a press conference.

He said “very young individuals, even children, can be used to carry out Iranian activities that threaten security in Sweden”.

The Scandinavian country has struggled to contain surging gang violence in recent years, with shootings and bombings now weekly occurrences across the country.

The gang violence was originally linked to control over the drugs market.

Sapo said it was collaborating with the police, military and international allies “to meet the threat from Iran”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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