Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
This isn’t terrorism. It’s a war. And it’s going on every day in Sweden.
Sweden is reeling from a wave of shootings and bombings with 268 shootings just this year so far. And that’s in a country of 10 million people which has crime numbers on par with some American cities.
“Sweden may have the answer to America’s gun problem,” Vox declared in 2016. Or maybe not.
These shootings aren’t being carried out with handguns, but with AK-47s. The weapon so often used as a boogeyman by gun control advocates, but rarely featured in everyday gun violence, is a staple of Sweden’s gang war scene. Along with hand grenades and other explosives rarely seen in America.
A call by the police last year asking gang members to turn in their grenades worked as well as expected.
There have been 187 bomb attacks this year. In just 1 week in August, there were three major bombings. Much of the violence is concentrated in Malmo which experienced 58 bombings in 2017.
Malmo has a sizable immigrant and Muslim population. And it’s a center of gang violence.
Swedish authorities and its media rarely discuss or name the perpetrators, but the latest shooting left Jaffar Ibrahim, a 15-year-old boy, dead. Jaffar was shot in a Malmo pizzeria and had been part of a family of Syrian refugees who migrated to Sweden in 2016. Services for him were held in a mosque.
The shooting attack was preceded by a car bombing which was used as a diversion.
The media cited as a precedent the shooting death of Ahmed Obaid, a 16-year-old, a few years ago. This isn’t unusual as 9 out of 10 shooters are foreign immigrants or the children of foreign immigrants.
But Muslim gang violence in Sweden isn’t just its problem anymore.
Bombings took off in Copenhagen with explosions outside a police station and a tax office over the summer. The targets were political and the bombs weren’t fireworks or hand grenades, but commercial explosives used for demolitions. The suspects turned out to be criminals who had entered from Sweden.
The violence was probably related to gang wars involving the Brothas, Loyal to Familia and other splinter gangs. Despite the gang names, the actual gang members have names like Osman and Omar.
While Muslim gangs operating out of Malmo appear to be pushing into Copenhagen, likely fronts and splinter groups of the Hells Angels, Muslim gangs out of Copenhagen, like the Black Cobras, are pushing into Malmo. To the Muslim gangs, Sweden and Denmark are just territories to seize and control.
That’s the same attitude that has brought Muslim gang members into ISIS.
Omar El-Hussein, a “Palestinian” Jordanian migrant criminal, who attempted to murder Mohammed cartoonist Lars Vilks before attacking a bar mitzvah at the Great Synagogue, had come through the ranks of the Brothas, building up a long criminal record, before finally joining ISIS.
After the attack, a journalist interviewed fellow Brothas gang members, Ahmed and Abdur Ramadan. “Those who depict our prophet, we’ll blow them up,” they declared.
The reference to bombings isn’t accidental.
Muslim gang leaders have reportedly taken the lead in joining ISIS. And their interest in explosives isn’t purely about gang violence. The bombing attacks on a police station and tax office weren’t gang rivalries. Despite the denials by the authorities, they have all the classic hallmarks of terrorism.
Denmark has reacted to the terror traffic from Sweden by imposing border controls on bridge crossings.
And while that might help slow the rate at which weapons flow into the country and bodies pile up, the real problem isn’t coming in from Sweden, but from Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, and Somalia.
Europe’s open infrastructure, its rejection of national and regional borders, has worsened the problem. From the mass flow of migrants from Muslim countries to the ease with which Muslim gang members move between European countries, the lack of border security has made the conquest of Europe easy.
The growing linkages between Muslim gangs across national borders is a warning of worse to come.
The main components of Islamic militias, like the ones that tore apart Syria and Libya, were gangs. Islamist forces like these are often made up of gangs with grandiose names. The Copenhagen gangs are still associated with international gangs and use their names, but eventually they will go Islamic.
And then it won’t be the Hells Angels anymore. It’ll be the Islamic State of something or other.
That’s a reality that Swedish authorities are deliberately ignoring.
A government site insists that immigrants are no more likely to be criminals than anyone else. “In a study from 2013, researchers at Stockholm University showed that the main difference in terms of criminal activity between immigrants and others in the population in Sweden was due to differences in the socioeconomic conditions in which they grew up,” it argues.
As if Swedes, including the researchers of Stockholm University, are only refraining from picking up AK-47s and throwing hand grenades because of their socioeconomic conditions. The moment they lose their lucrative research grants, they too will be setting off bombs and fighting over the drug trade.
But nonsense like this sounds reassuring because it suggests that the solution to Islamic violence is social welfare. That’s a comforting message for socialists for whom social welfare is the answer to everything.
Social welfare has been tried. Muslim immigrants are so deep in the social welfare system that they often never leave it. The gang members and ISIS terrorists are the welfare system’s children.
While the same old lies keep being told, the bombs keep going off and the bullets keep flying.
Whether or not the Swedish authorities can successfully keep feeding their population the same lies about the magic of integration, Denmark and Norway don’t want Sweden’s problems coming home.
But while Sweden’s insistence that it is a “humanitarian superpower” because of the volume of migrants it has taken in has obviously worsened the problem, no European country is immune from the threat.
The gangs in Sweden and Denmark disregard national borders and governments. They’ve bombed police cars and police stations because they believe that they are the law. They don’t care which government is in power or what its policies might be. They are the only authorities in their particular no-go zones.
And while it’s fashionable to deny that no-go zones exist, the bombings amply testify otherwise.
While the debate goes on about the thin line between terrorism and gang violence, the authorities are deploying the familiar toolkit of counterterrorism measures, including eavesdropping, to fight the war.
And when bombs go off and AK-47 fire is heard in broad daylight, does it matter what kind of war it is?
Bernie Sanders would like us to be more like Sweden. That means a frightened citizenry, bullets and bombs going off in the streets, while our taxes go to fund social welfare programs for our killers.
America can’t be more like Sweden. Not even Sweden is going to be able to be like Sweden anymore.