US cautions citizens in Sweden over possible attacks in retaliation for Quran burning
The US embassy in Sweden has warned Americans in the country of possible retaliatory attacks in response to an incident where a far-right politician burned the Quran.
“US citizens are advised to use caution when going to public venues frequented by large numbers of people,” said a security alert on the embassy’s website posted on Sunday, warning of possible attacks by unspecified actors in response to recent incidents in Europe where the Muslim holy book was burned.
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A Swedish anti-immigration politician burned a copy of the Quran at a Stockholm protest last month against Turkey’s opposition to Sweden’s bid to join NATO.
“Gathering sites such as places of worship could be targeted. Please use caution when in, and around, all diplomatic facilities,” the alert said, advising US citizens to avoid crowds and keep a low profile.
The United States has not updated its travel advisory for Sweden, which currently tells Americans to exercise normal precautions in the country.
The protest in Stockholm drew sharp condemnation from Turkey, which said Sweden should not have allowed “anti-Islam” act, and suspended talks on NATO accession with Sweden and Finland.
Sweden’s foreign ministry advised its citizens in Turkey to avoid crowds and demonstrations.
The US embassy in Ankara, along with the missions of other Western nations, also issued security alerts over possible retaliatory attacks against places of worship, following the incident in Sweden and separate incidents in which the Quran was burned in the Netherlands and Denmark.
Sweden’s security service was aware of the US warning, said spokesperson Adam Samara, but referred questions to US authorities. The service’s own current assessment is that the threat of attacks remains “elevated” at level three on a five-level scale, Samara added.
Read more: US again issues warning of possible terrorist attacks against tourists in Turkey
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