Sweden investigating ‘dangerous object’ found at Israeli Embassy as terrorism

Domestic security agency takes over case from local police after grenade-like object found in grounds of Israeli mission; ambassador described it as ‘an attempted terror attack’

Officers stand near the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP)
Officers stand near the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP)

STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s domestic security agency said Friday that it’s investigating “a dangerous object” that was found at the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm earlier this week as terrorism.

The agency, known by its acronym SAPO, said that it had taken over the investigation from Stockholm police, which haven’t disclosed what exactly was found on the embassy’s grounds on Wednesday. The object, described by some Swedish media as a hand grenade, was found near the fence of the diplomatic mission, which is located in the eastern part of Stockholm.

Dozens of officers were dispatched to the scene and the area was sealed off before a bomb squad arrived. A police spokeswoman said that the object eventually was destroyed. The embassy wasn’t evacuated. No arrests have been made.

Police declined to give any detail on the nature of the object, or of how it had got into the embassy grounds.

SAPO said that it was now investigating what the agency considers to be a “terrorist crime through grossly illegal threats and attempts to cause public destruction.” The domestic security agency said that it wouldn’t comment further, because the investigation is at a preliminary phase.

Hours after embassy staff spotted an object that they suspected was dangerous and alerted authorities, Israeli Ambassador Ziv Nevo Kulman tweeted that “today we were subject to an attempted attack against the Embassy of Israel in Stockholm and its employees.”

File: Around 900 red roses were placed at the Israeli embassy in Stockholm in solidarity and support with the country on October 11, 2023. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP)

“We will not be intimidated by terror,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Israelis around the globe have been cautioned to be on alert since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, which has fueled intensified anti-Israel sentiment in parts of the world.

In December, an explosion occurred near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, causing no injuries. Indian news networks said that a letter addressed to the Israeli ambassador, Naor Gilon, had been found close to the scene of the explosion.

Also in December, Hamas cells in Denmark, Germany and Holland were arrested on suspicion of plotting to attack Jewish targets in Europe.

Reuters and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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