Another Vehicle Attack, This Time in Sweden
In another terrorist attack using a vehicle as a weapon, a stolen beer truck was driven into a crowd of people in a busy shopping district in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 7, and then crashed into a department store. Four people were killed and 15 others wounded. This is the most recent in a series of vehicle attacks in Western countries in the past nine months—some of which included the driver following up with a knife attack—in places such as London; Berlin; the campus of Ohio State University; and Nice, France. These types of attacks are likely to continue, because of the easy accessibility of vehicles, the success in creating horror and causing casualties, and the continuing encouragement by extremist groups for their followers to attack where they are with whatever weapons they can acquire.
The attack in Stockholm could have been even more lethal. Investigators have said they found components in a bag in the cab of the truck that could have been used to make “a dangerous device.” The materials are still being examined.
One suspect, believed to be the driver of the truck, has been arrested on suspicion of “terrorist offenses by murder.” He is a 39-year-old Uzbek man whose application for permanent residence status had been rejected. A second suspect was arrested on the same potential charge on April 9, and police are detaining four others. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but an official with Sweden’s National Police said the alleged driver has been “sympathetic to extremist organizations,” including ISIS.
Camden County: Lindenwold Resident Admits Plotting to Kill the Pope During Philadelphia Visit
On April 3, a 17-year-old Lindenwold resident admitted plotting to kill Pope Francis during the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in September 2015. As part of a plea agreement, Santos Colon, Jr., pleaded guilty as an adult to attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Federal prosecutors say Colon, who was 15 years old at the time, was plotting the assassination between June 30 and August 15, 2015, during the three months leading up to the Pope’s visit.
Colon’s plot involved using a sniper to shoot the Pope during his papal Mass and detonating explosive devices nearby, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. Colon engaged someone he thought would be the sniper, but who in reality was an undercover FBI employee. Colon was arrested in August 2015, after he conducted target reconnaissance with an FBI confidential source and instructed the source to purchase materials to make explosive devices.
Search for Anti-Government Wisconsin Gun Burglar; Considered a Threat to Schools and Churches
An intense manhunt is under way in Wisconsin and beyond for an anti-government suspect who stole handguns and rifles from a gun store and who has threatened to carry out unspecified attacks. Joseph Jakubowski, age 32, of Janesville, Wisconsin, about 70 miles southwest of Milwaukee, also mailed a 161-page anti-government manifesto to President Trump. Investigators believe a school attack is part of his plan, and some local schools were closed last week. In response to the anti-religion sentiment in the manifesto, local law enforcement agencies have increased patrols at churches.
Police released a photograph of Jakubowski at a gas station in Janesville, shortly before the gun store burglary on April 4 (see photo). His manifesto is a long list of injustices he believes the government, society, and the upper class have inflicted on the rest of the citizens. “Basically, he’s angry at all government officials,” said Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden.