Two arrested over 'ISIS revenge plot' for Quran burnings in Sweden

German police arrest two Afghan men who allegedly planned to kill police and bystanders in Stockholm

Police in Sweden allowed several Quran burnings to go ahead even as politicians condemned the acts of desecration. Getty Images
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Two men have been arrested for allegedly plotting an ISIS mass shooting in Sweden in retaliation at the burning of the Quran.

The two Afghan nationals, identified as Ibrahim MG and Ramin N, were held in Germany on Tuesday.

It is alleged they made concrete plans to open fire on police and members of the public near the Swedish parliament in Stockholm.

Prosecutors claim they planned the attack with ISIS representatives and made several failed attempts to buy weapons.

Investigators believe an attack was ordered by Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), a branch of the militant group active in Afghanistan.

The plot was allegedly drawn up in the summer of 2023 after a spate of incidents in which the Quran was desecrated in public.

The burnings in Sweden and Denmark led to a backlash in the Muslim world and a debate over the limits of free speech.

It is claimed Ibrahim MG joined a German branch of ISIS-K last August, having previously raised money for militants in Syria with the help of Ramin N.

The two men drew up attack plans after Ibrahim MG was given instructions to stage an attack “as a reaction to burnings of the Quran”, according to prosecutors.

“From then on, Ibrahim MG planned together with Ramin N to shoot dead police officers and others in the area of the Swedish parliament,” said the German prosecution office that handles terrorism cases.

“For that purpose, they both made concrete preparations in consultation with ISIS-K operatives. In particular, they did research on the internet about the conditions on the ground and tried several times, although without success, to acquire weapons.”

The two men are expected to be brought before a judge on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Ibrahim MG is suspected of being an ISIS member and supporter. Ramin N is a suspected supporter.

Both men are suspected of conspiracy to commit crimes and breaches of a foreign trade law that covers weapons.

Security services raised Sweden’s terrorist threat level from “elevated” to “high” last August, warning the country had become a “prioritised target”.

Ministers have condemned the burning of the Quran but are still weighing up whether to tighten laws on incitement.

Muslims across the region condemn burning of Quran in Sweden - in pictures

Updated: March 19, 2024, 2:12 PM