Stockholm terror: US warned of possible attacks in Sweden and elsewhere

'Sweden's open borders with its Western European neighbours could permit terrorist groups to enter and exit the country with anonymity'

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 07 April 2017 16:24
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Travel advice provided to Americans by the US State Department says that the Schengen agreement on open borders in Europe makes terrorism more likely in Sweden.

The current warning to visitors to the country says: “Like other countries in the Schengen area, Sweden's open borders with its Western European neighbours could permit terrorist groups to enter and exit the country with anonymity."

However, border checks were re-introduced by the Swedish authorities in November 2015 because of the the number of asylum seekers entering the country.

The UK Foreign Office reported at the time: “Border controls have been reintroduced at the Oresund crossing [from Copenhagen to Malmo] and on ferries from Denmark and Germany.”

The US State Department warning for Europe as a whole says: “Terrorist groups continue to plot attacks in Europe as foreign fighters return home from Syria and Iraq, while other individuals may be radicalised or inspired by Isis propaganda.

“European authorities continue to warn of additional attacks on major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centres, places of worship, and the transportation sector, frequently prompting heightened security at notable public venues and coordinated counterterrorism operations.”

Immediately after the Stockholm truck attack, the American Embassy in the city warned: “US citizens should avoid this area at this time, heed guidance from local authorities, and maintain security awareness. Please monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.

“We strongly encourage US citizens in Sweden to directly contact concerned family members in the United States to advise them of your safety.

The UK Foreign Office warned British travellers: “There are reports that incidents have occurred in Drottninggatan and Fridhemsplan in central Stockholm. You should stay away from public areas if possible and follow the advice of local authorities.”

Its current travel advice says: “There is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.”

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