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Terror threat

September 11, 2011

Police in Sweden apprehended four men over the weekend on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack on a cultural center in the country's second-largest city.

The Alvsborg bridge and the Roda Stens art exhibition center
The Alvsborg bridge and the Roda Stens art exhibition centerImage: dapd

Four men have been arrested on terrorism charges in southern Sweden, police said Sunday. The group is suspected of planning an attack on a cultural center in the city of Gothenburg.

Sara Kvarnstrom, press secretary at Sweden's National Security Service (SAPO), said the arrests were made Saturday with the assistance of a police counter-terrorism unit.

Police have released few details of the arrests, which came on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.

Kvarnstrom added that SAPO saw no reason to raise its terror alert level, which has been at "elevated" since October.

"Our assessment is that there is no reason for public concern at the moment," she told the Associated Press news agency.

Arts center emptied

Ulf Edberg, spokesman for the Vastra Gotaland police, said the Roda Sten arts center had been evacuated and cordoned off after authorities were alerted to the potential threat.

Roda Sten art center
The art center was evacuated on Saturday nightImage: dapd

Around 400 people had been inside the facility at the time, which is located beneath the city's landmark Alvsborg bridge.

"We decided to clear the area because of a threat that could have involved serious danger to life, health or extensive destruction of property," Edberg said, adding that the center was reopened early Sunday.

Violence, or the threat of it, has risen in the Nordic region in recent years. A botched bomb attack took place in the Swedish capital Stockholm last December, killing only the bomber.

Author: Darren Mara (AP, Reuters)
Editor: Kyle James