Syrian Charged With Terror Over Arson Attack on Islamic Center in Sweden Last Year

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A file photo of a street scene in Malmo, Sweden.
A file photo of a street scene in Malmo, Sweden.Credit: Bloomberg

A Syrian man was charged with terrorism on Monday after allegedly carrying out an arson attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shi'ite Muslims in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, prosecutors said.

No one was injured in the October 11 attack but the 30-year-old Sunni Muslim claimed he sympathized with Islamic State, which has staged attacks on Shi'ite Muslims, notably in the Middle East.

A propaganda site linked to ISIS later claimed the extremist group had commissioned the attack in Malmo.

No traces of DNA or fingerprints were found at the scene but the prosecution noted that police had seized gloves they believe the man wore while allegedly throwing firebombs in the incident.

His computer also contained ISIS propaganda, the indictment claimed, adding that his aim in the alleged arson was to instill fear. After the man's arrest in December, Malmo's district court had deemed the amount of evidence insufficient to consider the resulting fire a terror attack and instead took him into custody on suspicion of arson, the Swedish newspaper The Local reported.

But on Monday, the prosecutor affirmed the man's affiliation with ISIS and charged him with a "terror offense, alternatively arson".

The prosecutor asked that the man be deported from Sweden after serving his sentence, if he is convicted. 

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