Saturday, 14 May 2016
Bosnian police seize arms headed for Sweden

From the Swedish edition of The Local. This morning's report is backtracking slightly on the one published yesterday evening which was more confident of the Islamist connection.

Bosnian police said on Friday they had arrested five suspected smugglers and seized arms including rocket launchers destined for Sweden, but declined to confirm reports it was for an Islamist group. The five were seized on Thursday in an operation carried out in coordination with Swedish police, Bosnian police spokeswoman Mirna Miljanovic told the AFP news agency. 

A spokesperson said the arrests were carried out as part of Swedish-run operation called 'Varg RS', but Swedish authorities would not confirm nor comment on the police raids.

"We have no comments to this information at present. We await more information from Bosnia," national police spokesperson Carolina Ekéus told the TT news agency.

A spokesperson for Sweden's security police Säpo also declined to comment.

According to claims in Bosnian Serb media cited by TT, police suspect that the smugglers had intended to deliver the weapons to a group in Sweden called 'Muslim Brothers'.

"A huge quantity of arms, ammunitions and military equipment was seized," Bosnian police spokeswoman Mirna Miljanovic said, adding that one person was earlier arrested in Sweden, and two others were still at large. 

The suspects have admitted involvement in smuggling, Boris Grubesic, a spokesman for Bosnia's prosecutor office told AFP.  But he said there was no evidence so far that they had links with terrorist groups, and they do not fit a jihadist profile. 

A police source who asked not to be named said however there were some indications the arms were destined for a group called the Muslim Brothers. The link with Islamists was "not official," the source said, giving no other details of the group, whose name is similar to the Egypt's opposition movement the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Local media said the arms included four rocket launchers, 16 hand grenades and one sub machine gun, as well as rifles, pistols and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Terror experts as well as police and Sweden's Interior Minister Anders Ygeman have previously spoken about the illegal arms trade route from the Balkans to Sweden.

“What makes us notice criminality more is the amount of illegal weapons in the city. We seize far more weapons and we notice that they are much more accessible than before,” Mats Karlsson of the Malmö police told Danish newspaper Berlingske last summer.

Posted on 05/14/2016 2:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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