18 Cases Since February: No End In Sight For Arson Attacks On Swedish Refugee Centers

Jonah Bennett | Contributor

There have been a minimum of 18 attacks on refugee centers in Sweden since Feb. 20, and it looks like there’s no end in sight to these acts of arson.

The National Operations Department, part of the police, has stopped officially tracking this data, with Ola Stolz of NOA telling Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that the department was tasked with the duty for a certain period of time, but that time has now ended, The Local reports.

So, Svenska Dagbladet conducted its own analysis, relying on reports in the media, finding 18 cases since just February.

The most recent attack occurred Monday, when an arsonist burned down a school the government was refitting into a refugee center. A previous attack in April failed, so it appears that either another arsonist — or the same one — tried again. This time around, the attempt succeeded. Authorities ensured the blaze did not spread to surrounding buildings, but by the time the fire was put out, there was little to nothing left standing. No one was hurt in the fire, refugees were not yet placed in the center.

From June 2015 to February, NOA worked to investigate about 46 fires that had taken place at asylum centers. Although Swedish authorities tried to increase security at these storage facilities, that increase ultimately subsided and so attacks have begun to climb again.

It’s estimated that a third of refugee center attacks in 2015 were set by residents.

In 2015 alone, Sweden took in over 160,000 migrants, which places the country in the top ranks of states with the highest per capita number of refugees.

As a result of its high intake of refugees and poor integration policies, Sweden is often taken as an example by other European countries of what not to do.

Norway’s Integration Minister Sylvia Listhaug has emphasized the importance of avoiding the path Sweden has gone down by tightening up asylum policies.

“We have foreign fighters who have left Norway and radical environments. We should not stick our heads in the sand and say that everything is good here. But fortunately we are a long way from the conditions we see in some other countries, for example Sweden,” Listhaug said in March.

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Tags : european union sweden
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