Suspected explosive found outside Israeli firm in Sweden

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Swedish police said Tuesday that a suspected explosive had been found outside an Israeli military technology firm in Gothenburg and was likely intended to target the company.

A “suspected explosive object” was found outside the offices of Elbit Systems, known for its unmanned aerial systems, in Sweden’s second-largest city in the early morning hours of Monday, police said.

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Police cordoned off the area for a few hours while the national bomb squad was called to the scene, and the object was safely removed.

“It is of course not unlikely that it’s directed at this company,” police spokesman August Brandt told AFP, adding that police were not ruling anything out.

Brandt said no arrests had been made and the object was still being analyzed.

An investigation had been launched into “attempted destruction causing public endangerment,” police said.

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in October 2023, several incidents apparently targeting Israeli interests in Sweden have been reported.

The Scandinavian country’s intelligence agency Sapo said last week that Iran was recruiting members of Swedish criminal gangs to commit “acts of violence” against Israeli and other interests in Sweden -- a claim Iran denied.

In mid-May, Sweden boosted security measures for Israeli interests and the Jewish community in the country after gunfire was reported near Israel’s embassy in Stockholm.

And in February, police found a grenade on the grounds of the Israeli embassy compound, which the ambassador said was an attempted attack.

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The Nordic country has also reported an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes since the war in Gaza started.

The war started with Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel’s massive retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,550 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the territory.

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