1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Swedish synagogue suffers attempted arson attack

December 10, 2017

A synagogue in Sweden's second largest city Gothenburg has suffered a failed arson attempt. Three arrests were made as investigations continue.

Schweden Versuchter Brandanschlag auf Synagoge in Göteborg
Image: Reuters/TT News Agency/A. Ihse

Swedish police said they made three arrests in connection with the suspected arson attack at a synagogue in the Swedish city of Gothenburg late Saturday.

"We are working on the case and cannot comment if they have given any motive," Ulla Brehm of the Gothenburg police told the German Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency.

It was also confirmed that the attack was being investigated as suspected arson, which was reported to have occurred shortly after 10 p.m. local time (2100 UTC). There were no injuries. Local newspaper Expressen said that the attack on the Synagogue had involved the use of Molotov cocktails, citing police at the scene earlier in the day.

Jewish community leader Allan Stutzinsky told the Swedish TT news agency that the attack took place as a party involving young people was being held at the site. Some 20 youngsters briefly took shelter in a cellar during the attack.

Stutzinsky added that with light rain falling at the time, the flames were not able to spread.

Gothenburg is Sweden's second largest cityImage: Imago/ecomedia/R. Fishman

Trump's decision echoes in Sweden

The spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority gave no motive for the attack. It was not immediately clear if it was linked to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Protests in reaction to the decision have, however, spread across the world.

The incident took place on the same day as protesters in Stockholm demonstrated against Trump's decision. During the rally, an Israeli flag was reportedly seen being set on fire. A day earlier, on Friday, around 200 demonstrators chanted anti-Semitic slogans in the Swedish city of Malmo, according to the public broadcaster Sveriges Radio.

"We want our freedom back and we will shoot the Jews," protesters reportedly chanted, according to the station.

"Events over the last few days between Trump and Israel and the unrest between Israel and Palestine, those things always lead to higher threats," Allan Stutzinsky told the daily GT newspaper.

Security for synagogues in Stockholm has been raised after the incident in Gothenburg, TT reported.

Neo-Nazi rally in Sweden

ss/jlw (AFP, dpa, Reuters)