Sweden to Better Equip Police Assigned to Guard Jewish Institutions

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Men talk with police at February 18, 2015, funeral of Dan Uzan, a Jewish security guard who was killed in Copenhagen attacks. In the wake of those attacks, Sweden is strengthening the equipment assigned to police who guard its Jewish institutions.Credit: Reuters

Sweden plans to better equip the police guarding Jewish institutions, assigning them automatic weapons, helmets and bullet-proof vests, media reports say.

The move comes in the wake of last weekend's attacks in Copenhagen on a freedom-of-expression event and a synagogue, The Local of Sweden website reported.

The Local said that Mona Sahlin, Sweden's national coordinator against violent extremism and former leader of the Social Democrats, told the TT news service that anti-Semitism in the country was rising.

In the wake of the attacks, Denmark's Jews were trying to tread a fine line between warning of further anti-Semitic attacks and insisting that Jewish life will go on as normal.

The Local had reported earlier that Sweden's Jewish communities were on edge following the Copenhagen attacks.

The perpetrator of those attacks, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, 22, was killed in a firefight with police early Sunday.

Lena Posner Körösi, chairwoman of the Jewish Central Council in Sweden, told The Local that El-Hussein had actively sought out a Jewish target following the first attack.

"It either begins or ends with a Jewish target," she said, comparing the incident to the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January.

"This might as well have happened in Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö. It could have been a dead Jew in Sweden. It could have been more," she told The Local. 

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