x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Swedish police arrest four terror-plot suspects

Building searched after Gothenburg arts centre evacuated over terror threat.

STOCKHOLM // Swedish police arrested four people on suspicion of preparing a terror attack and evacuated an arts centre in Sweden's second-largest city on Saturday, officials said yesterday.

The four were arrested in Gothenburg and were suspected of plotting terrorism, a security police spokesman, Stefan Johansson, said, declining to give other details.

It was not immediately clear whether the arrests were linked to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

Police in Gothenburg said they had evacuated an arts centre in the city overnight yesterday because of a threat deemed to pose "serious danger for life, health or substantial damage of property".

They said they had assisted security police with the arrest and declined to give any further comments.

Mia Christersdotter Norman, the head of the Roda Sten arts centre in Gothenburg, said about 400 people were celebrating the opening of an international biennial for contemporary art when police ordered everyone to leave the building.

"Around midnight I was called out by the police and they said there was a threat to the building and asked us to quietly stop the party, which we did and everyone left," Ms Christersdotter Norman said. "Police have searched the building but they didn't find anything," she said, adding the arts centre would reopened yesterday.

Sweden raised its terror threat alert level from low to elevated in October last year. In December, a suicide bomber, Taimour Abdulwahab, blew himself up in central Stockholm among panicked Christmas shoppers, injuring two people, causing shock in a country that had largely been insulated from terrorism.