POLITICO: Shootings in Sweden ‘So Common They Don’t Make Headlines’, Cities Rocked by Bombs, Grenade Blasts

Police stand outside Stockholm Castle after a truck crashed into the Ahlens department store at Drottninggatan in central Stockholm, April 7, 2017. A truck slammed into a crowd of people outside a busy department store in central Stockholm, causing "deaths" in what the prime minister described as a "terror attack." …
CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/AFP/Getty Images

(POLITICO) STOCKHOLM — Sweden may be known for its popular music, IKEA and a generous welfare state. It is also increasingly associated with a rising number of Islamic State recruits, bombings and hand grenade attacks.

In a period of two weeks earlier this year, five explosions took place in the country. It’s not unusual these days — Swedes have grown accustomed to headlines of violent crime, witness intimidation and gangland executions. In a country long renowned for its safety, voters cite “law and order” as the most important issue ahead of the general election in September.

The topic of crime is sensitive, however, and debate about the issue in the consensus-oriented Scandinavian society is restricted by taboos.

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