Swedish police arrest Olympic bomb suspect

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Stockholm (AP) - Hours before the Olympics site vote, Swedish police arrested a young man suspected of trying to derail Stockholm's bid for the 2004 Summer Games with a pair of powerful bomb blasts.

Stockholm police said they seized the man, aged 26, as he attempted to bomb a soaring statue used as the symbol for the city's candidacy. The statue, located just outside the Swedish capital, was not damaged.

The man is suspected of last month's bombings of Stockholm's historic Olympic stadium and the sweeping Ullevi stadium in the western Swedish city of Goeteborg. Many also hoped the arrest would solve about 10 arson attacks against sports and Olympic-related sites since the spring in Sweden.

Police declined to name the suspect, but a Stockholm newspaper identified him as Mats Hinze, a member of an extreme right-wing group, Frihetsfronten (Freedom Front). The Swedish news agency TT said the man was described as being an extreme rightwinger.

Olof Stenhammar, the leader of Stockholm's Olympics bid, said the arrest showed Sweden would not let "the voice of violence silence the voice of sport". He was addressing the members of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne during Stockholm's presentation before the vote on the site for the 2004 Games.

The suspect was arrested late on Thursday in a sculpture park just outside Stockholm. "We have strong reason to believe that the man we caught is the same person who carried out the bombings of Stockholm's Olympic stadium and Ullevi," chief investigator Bo Wide said. "But we still don't know for certain." The man was arrested with a bomb containing between one and two kilograms of explosives, only six yards from the statue.