Riots erupt in Sweden after Trump cites non-existent terror attack

21 February, 2017, 22:18 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • President Donald Trump gestures as he holds up a piece of paper on the presidential powers on immigration during a campaign rally Saturday Feb. 18 2017 at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne Fla

Swedish police arrested a suspect on a drug charge near their Rinkeby station Monday night, which prompted a gang of thugs to stage a four-hour riot, looting businesses as well as burning multiple vehicles. Some rioters wore masks.

The predominantly immigrant area experienced similar incidents in 2010 and 2013. A photographer for the newspaper was attacked by more than a dozen men and his camera was stolen, but no one was ultimately hurt or even arrested.

Swedish Police spokesman Lars Bystrom stated that the officer had not fired his weapon as a warning shot, but rather because he was "in a situation that demanded he used his firearm".

During a rally in Florida on Saturday, Trump said, "look what's happening last night in Sweden" as he alluded to past terror attacks in Europe. A police spokesperson said 10 cars had been torched.

An investigation has been launched into the violent riots and an assault against officers. "Sweden, who would believe this?" he said in a remark widely mocked in Sweden and by his domestic foes.

Analysts and reporters narrowed their search down to this segment from Friday night on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox as the likely inspiration for Trump's comment.

A criminology professor told FactCheck.org in an email that a large influx of refugees in a short time can put a strain on a country like Sweden, "but these problems are exaggerated greatly by populist movements that are ideologically close to Mr. Trump".

Trump later clarified on Twitter, explaining that his information had come from a Fox News feature.

Sweden did have a record 163,000 asylum applications in 2015, though the country has recently scaled back that number, according to the AP.

Sweden has granted asylum to almost 200,000 people since the summer of 2015 - more per capita than any other European nation - and mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The inability to provide shelter to refugees, as well as cultural unrest, has fueled opposition to the policies, but a university professor in Sweden said the political changes were fueled by necessity, not xenophobia. "The writing has been on the wall, the authorities can not cope".

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